LEWISTON, Idaho – Sergio Lopez’ third-inning grand slam was the power behind St. Thomas’ 10-2 victory over Science & Arts of Oklahoma, which punched the Bobcats’ ticket to the title game of the 2019 Avista NAIA Championship game.
Daniel Lowry had given St. Thomas a 1-0 lead on Erick Delgado’s single, which also advanced Jackie Urbaez to second. Urbaez reached third on a wild pitch before Alejandro Rivero walked to move Delgado to second and load the bases. With a 1-1 count, Lopez launched his shot over the left field fence for the 5-0 lead.
The Bobcats batted through the order in adding two more runs in the third with a run-scoring single by Joey Thompson and a double by Daniel Mondejar.
While St. Thomas added three more runs – one each in the fourth, sixth and seventh (a home run by Daniel Mondejar) innings, and pounded out 10 hits, the Drovers never could gain any traction with just three hits off starter Christopher Coipel, who went eight innings before Tyler Morales wrapped up the game in the ninth.
St. Thomas plays Tennessee Wesleyan Friday night at 7:05 p.m. for the 2019 Avista NAIA Championship at Lewis-Clark State’s Harris Field.