By David Carter/GCU Staff
That is what described No. 3 GCU Club Baseball’s 10-1 and 8-3 victories against Colorado Mesa University (CMU) this past weekend at Gene Autry Baseball Complex in Mesa. It was GCU’s first National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) Division 1 (D1) series of the spring season – although still a non-conference series for the Lopes (CMU plays in the NCBA’s Mid-America-West Conference). The Lopes won their first-ever Southern Pacific (SoPac) South Conference and Regional titles in 2018, and finished third at the NCBA Division I World Series.
Saturday: GCU 10, CMU 1
“It was our first time out, and we scored enough runs to have a good weekend,” said GCU Club Baseball Head Coach Rich Warnol.
The Lopes scored 9 of their 10 runs in the first innings to effectively put the game away. Lopes’ outfielders Reid Magnaghi and Azael Lopez-Chairez led the way for the Lopes offensively, with Magnaghi scoring twice, and Lopez-Chairez knocking in a pair of runs along with scoring once himself.
GCU also witnessed a strong performance from starter Matthew McWilliams, who pitched four innings, struck out six batters and gave up one run. Pitchers Cameron Kamphausen and Emilio Artica followed up McWilliams by throwing one and two scoreless innings, respectively.
“It was good to see how our pitchers compete against pitchers at the same level as them,” said Warnol.
Sunday: GCU 8, CMU 3
While the Lopes didn’t jump out of the gates quickly in Sunday’s matchup like they did Saturday, they gradually built their lead en route to the weekend sweep.
Lopes’ first baseman Zach Broussely and Lopez-Chairez both impressed, each scoring once and knocking in a run. Broussely showed much of the power that served him well last year with two triples, while Lopez-Chairez added a pair of doubles.
On the mound, GCU’s Nick Schoonover pitched three innings in his first NCBA start, allowing only one run. Nick Hershey pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Lopes.
The Lopes don’t have long to rest after these wins, since SoPac South play officially begins for them this weekend. The Lopes’ D1 team will play a three-game weekend series versus the University of Arizona (U of A) Wildcats at Arthur Pack Regional Park in Tucson. The Lopes and Wildcats will play a 10 am doubleheader Saturday before winding up the series with a single 10 am game Sunday morning.
“We expect to come home with three wins, but it is baseball, and you never know what can happen,” said Warnol.
The Lopes also have a competitive schedule after that, since they play seven games in thirteen games starting Saturday.
Meanwhile, the GCU Club Baseball D2 team is also in action this weekend. They’ll face the University of San Diego on Saturday at 6 pm at Apollo High School in Glendale, and Sunday at 9 am at Washington High School in Phoenix.
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