After one missed step, the GCU Club Baseball team was back to picking up where they left off last season.
The Lopes traveled to San Diego, California for their first National Club Baseball Association series of the season last weekend in a matchup against the University of California, San Diego. After the bats got off to a slow start in a 4-2 loss in Game 1 of the three-game set, the No. 4 Lopes swept both games of the doubleheader on Sunday, 15-3 and 6-4.
Saturday: UCSD 4, GCU 2
After a bus ride of over four hours, the Lopes entered their first road series of the season prepared to build upon their successes from 2019: a runner-up finish at the NCBA College World Series.
Unfortunately for the Lopes, their bats were quickly stifled, collecting just six hits in the first game. UCSD starting pitcher Michael Robichaux surrendered just two runs in six innings of work while punching out eight Lopes’ batters.
Taylor Brooks led the Lopes with two hits in the contest.
Sunday (Game 1): GCU 14, UCSD 3 (F/5)
A night’s rest made an immediate difference Sunday. The Lopes struck first in the top of the first inning when Micah Kaohu lined a single to right field to bring in two runs. The Tritons battled back to tie it at 3-3 after four innings.
From there, there was no looking back.
The Lopes struck for 11 runs on 10 hits in the 5th inning, bursting ahead and giving GCU starting pitcher Koby Anderson a more-than-comfortable lead. All 10 Lopes’ hits in the inning were singles as they sent 16 men up to the plate.
Anderson quietly closed out the bottom of the frame, securing the 14-3 run-rule victory.
Kaohu led the team with three hits and five runs batted in.
Sunday (Game 2): GCU 6, UCSD 4
Simon Siggins Bell, who made the move up from the Lopes’ D2 team in ’19 to D1 this season, got the ball in the finale, and got a rude welcome from the Tritons, who scored two runs in the opening frame.
After answering with a run of their own in the top of the second inning, the Lopes took the lead for good with a four-run fourth inning – thanks to three RBI singles.
After the Tritons struck for two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the Lopes’ lead to a run, Lopes’ reliever Bryce Arana came in and shut UCSD down in impressive fashion. Arana held USCD scoreless for the final three frames of his season debut, allowing just one hit in his four innings of work and picking up his first win.
D2 Lopes: Series Victory in San Diego
The D2 Lopes’ first foray into NCBA play for 2020 was also a successful trip to San Diego as they also took two of three games from the University of San Diego. The Lopes split the first two games, taking Game 1, 5-1, then losing, 4-2, in the second game before coming alive in the rubber game to win, 11-5. The Lopes displayed an impressive pitching display on the weekend, maintaining a staff ERA of 3.33 in the three-game set.
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