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Cumberland ousts LCU Chaps with 12-1 victory

2006 LEWISTON, Idaho - Cumberland University managed to save an ace in the hole for the next-to-last game of the NAIA World Series. Lubbock Christian University had played its trump cards just to stay at the table that long.

While No. 1 starter Drew Shetrone was pitching a masterful game for Cumberland, Bulldogs batters were raking LCU's spent pitchers for 16 hits. With 2,435 looking on, the Chaparrals' season ended with a 12-1 loss Thursday night, one step short of the title game.

Shortstop Victor Alvarez hit a two-run homer and a two-run single for Cumberland (51-17). LCU (50-17), in its best run since winning the national championship in 1983, settled for third. Only the title team and the 1980 LCU team that finished third had done as well.

Lubbock Christian's Nick Pauza uncorks a pitch in the seventh inning of the Chaparrals opening game of the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.

Shetrone overmatched Chaps batters, carrying a shutout into the sixth inning when he had a 9-0 lead and allowing only four hits in an eight-inning performance.

He struck out the side twice and finished with 10 strikeouts.

LCU finally got on the board in the sixth with a two-out double from Blandon Hancock and a single from Michael Harkins.

Shetrone (11-1) also won the series opener for Cumberland, beating Auburn-Montgomery, Ala., 7-1 last Friday. With a loss to spare in the double-elimination tournament, the then-unbeaten Bulldogs held him back from pitching Wednesday when he was available on four days' rest.

The Chaps won that game 6-5. Postseason star Nick Pauza threw 158 pitches in a complete game Wednesday, David Wasylak had gone 81/3 innings Tuesday, and Raymond Pelton had had only two days rest since his last start Monday.

The Bulldogs built their 9-0 lead and got their first 12 hits off Cody Thomas and spot starter/middle reliever Jason Aguirre. The top third of the order set the tone. Alvarez went 4-for-5, and centerfielder Courtney Propst and third baseman Dorian Rojas collected three hits apiece.

Alvarez, the Bulldogs' leadoff batter, drove a two-run homer to centerfield for a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth.

Cumberland, a school of only 1,400 enrollment located in Lebanon, Tenn., blew it open with a four-run fifth. Rojas doubled leading off, and Thomas hit Alberto Cruz with a pitch - one of his five hit batsmen.

Thanks to a Cumberland baserunning blunder and a force play, Thomas was an out away from escaping the jam with no damage. But he walked Derek DePew, and Steve Selph hit a two-run single to centerfield, making the score 5-0 and chasing Thomas.

After another walk, Alvarez tacked on his two-run single to rightfield. Even though Alvarez was thrown out trying for two bases, Thomas (5-3) was charged with seven runs, six earned, in 42/3 innings. Aguirre gave up four hits in an inning before Pelton and Cody Harris pitched mop-up duty.

A single by Rojas and a double by Nolan McCue made it 9-0 in the sixth.

The A-J Remembers The Most Important People in Lubbock's History
 
 


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