St. Gregory's picked up its first conference win of the season in a doubleheader split with No. 11-ranked Lubbock Christian Thursday at Bill Nicklas Field. The Cavaliers won the opener, 7-3, before falling in the nightcap, 18-6. SGU's win ended an eight-game skid to start SAC play.
A five-run fourth inning was the difference in Game 1. With LCU leading 2-1, the Cavs got RBI singles from Chris Sutton, Roberto Celestino and Brian Bartlett. Matt Blackwell also picked up an RBI on a groundout in the frame, as the home team sent nine men to the plate.
That was enough support for Cavalier starter Ben Moore, who scattered three earned runs on 10 hits to improve to 5-3 on the season. The Chaps never really threatened after that decisive fourth inning as Moore allowed only three hits the rest of the way in picking up his sixth complete-game victory of the season.
Jordan Funtila, Cody Kollmann and Bartlett all finished with two-hit efforts to lead SGU offensively. Funtila's game included a double and a team-leading 10th stolen base.
LCU showed why it's one of the NAIA's top offensive teams in Game 2. The Chaps, who lead the country in slugging percentage, RBIs and hits per game, tallied six home runs in cruising to a win.
The Chaps were led by Wigberto Nevarez, who hit a program-record four long balls in the game. Nevarez finished 4-for-5 with nine RBIs and four runs scored. LCU led 3-1 before distancing itself with a five-run third. The Chaps scored in all but one inning and totaled 16 hits.
Joey Moreno (3-4) was chased early in one of his worst outings of the season. The junior from King City, Calif., gave up eight runs on five hits and walked three in 2-1/3 innings of work. Cody Guenthart went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Cavs. Jacob Ratliff hit his first home run of the season – a solo shot to left – in the fourth inning.
SGU (12-19, 1-9 SAC) concludes its series with the Chaps Friday with a 10 a.m. doubleheader. The game will be played on the campus of Mid-America Christian University.