By David Carter/GCU Club Sports Web Marketing Intern
Action Necessary: Win three out of three games against California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM).
Objective: Win the Pacific Region South Conference and earn an automatic bid to the Pacific Regional Playoff berth.
Final Result: A three-game sweep of CSUSM.
Despite it seeming nearly impossible just three weeks ago, the GCU Club Baseball Division 2 (D2) team pulled off their second straight three-game sweep Sunday, taking out Cal-State San Marcos in the span of just under 24 hours this past weekend in Escondido, California. The wins clinched the Pacific Region South Conference title for the Lopes, and punched their tickets for the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) Pacific Regional Tournament May 3 through 5 in Lancaster, California.
Gm 1: GCU 10, CSUSM 0; Gm 2: GCU 15, CSU 3; Gm 3: GCU 6, CSUSM 1
“The offense was put together as far as getting hits,” remarked Lopes’ catcher Kacey Carvajal on GCU’s weekend sweep. “Capitalizing on CSUSM’s defensive errors and taking advantage of those opportunities was a big key for us.”
The Lopes scored 31 runs in the three games, and Carvajal was an integral part of the offense. Lopes’ shortstop Michael Quintana paced the Lopes with seven hits, four RBI, and five runs scored; outfielder Sheldon Madina had six hits, three RBI, and scored three times; while Carvajal went 3-for-9 with a home run.
As potent as the Lopes’ offense was, it was overshadowed by the GCU pitching staff, who allowed just four runs in three games.
“It gives the pitchers confidence going into regionals,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Fred Speck. “It also takes the pressure off the offense knowing that the opponents score is low.”
Seth Cunningham upped his record to 5-0 on the year with his pitching performance in Game 1, while fellow hurlers Kasey Tucker and Daniel Ureste gave strong starts as well to finish out the sweep.
GCU now has two full weeks to prepare for the Pacific Regional Playoffs at Rawley Duntley Park in Lancaster, California. A regional tournament title will earn the Lopes an automatic bid to the 2019 National Club Baseball Association Division 2 World Series in Pittsburg, Kansas May 17-21.
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