Lopes’ 1st baseman named to 1st Team; left fielder earns 2nd Team selection
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
GCU Club Sports is proud to announce that two members of the Grand Canyon University Club Baseball team have been named to the Rawlings/National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) All-American teams. Lopes’ 1st baseman Zach Broussely (BROWZ-lee) was named as a 1st Team All-American, while outfielder Reid Magnaghi (REED munn-YAH-ghee) earned a 2nd Team nod. The two Lopes’ players were part of the list of eight All-American selections for the Southern Pacific Region-the most of any region in the NCBA. The announcements come just over a month after the Lopes finished 3rd at the NCBA Division I World Series in Holly Springs, North Carolina, in their inaugural appearance at the tournament.
With his size, power, and levelheadedness on the diamond, many Lopes’ fans might have thought that Zach Broussely was a senior playing his final games of college baseball at the NCBA World Series. Fortunately for Lopes’ Head Coach Rich Warnol and the rest of the team, Broussely just completed his junior year, and will have to work hard as a senior to top the accomplishments of 2018. His .533 batting average paced the way in the SoPac Region (which encompasses two other conferences besides the SoPac South that GCU resides in), but that wasn’t the only place he was the trendsetter. The native of Castle Rock, Colorado was the SoPac’s top man in hits (40), on-base percentage (.643) and slugging percentage (1.053). That slugging percentage stat should be no surprise to those who watched the ball come off of Broussely’s bat throughout 2018, since his 10 home runs were easily tops in the conference (and tied for best in the NCBA), and he came home from North Carolina lugging the championship trophy from the NCBA’s version of a national home run derby, the DeMarini Longball Challenge.
While Broussely spent nearly the entire season batting in the power portions of the Lopes’ batting order, left fielder Reid Magnaghi showed his versatility by either being the tablesetter or the cleanup man in the lineup. Whether he led off or batted 4th in the order, Magnaghi was one of the team’s top hitters in the clutch or otherwise. No one in the SoPac Region had more than Magnaghi’s 34 hits, and his 14 hits in the postseason was tops on the squad. The Walla Walla, Washington native was also 3rd on the team in batting average (.453, 4th SoPac South), but led the team in triples (4) and at-bats (86). Magnaghi also placed 2nd in doubles (9) and slugging percentage (.826). Like Broussely, the Lopes will rely heavily on Magnaghi as one of their senior leaders in 2019.
Their head coach knows how important they both were to 2018’s success, and how important they will be if the Lopes are to repeat as conference and region champs next season.
“Any time either of these players came up to hit, we were waiting for something big to happen,” said Warnol. “At one time, it seemed like no one could get Zach out, and when you looked up, Reid always seemed to be on second base. Reid’s energy on the field was what helped us when he was on the field or cheering in the dugout during our offensive plate appearances. We are very proud of these two players, and the team that surrounded them that helped make it a special season.”
The Lopes finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 24 wins and 5 losses – the best record in the program’s history.