The Grand Canyon University baseball team won their series opener against visiting Colorado Mesa, 9-0, tonight at Brazell Stadium. The win was the fifth straight for the Antelopes as they improved to 5-2 overall, while the Mavericks fell to 4-4 on the season.
Starter Jorge Perez tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing just 5 hits and a walk with a season-high 9 strikeouts. Over his last two starts, the sophomore has not allowed a run to cross the plate in 15.0 innings of work.
"Jorge is attacking and being aggressive in the zone," said head coach Andy Stankiewicz. "He found his rhythm today. That is a good ball club and for him to do that against Colorado Mesa is a step in the right direction."
Malcolm Purdy completed the shutout, the first for the ‘Lopes this season, with a scoreless ninth inning.
"We preached about pitching to contact in the fall because we are good defensively," said Stankiewicz. "We have good speed. That's the way you have to be and we did a good job of that tonight."
Offensively, GCU collected a season-high 14 hits, led by Michael Pomeroy who went 3-for-4 at the plate. Nick Chapman, Steven Swingle, Garrett Jeffries, and Chris Lindmark each collected two hits in the contest, while six different players recorded one RBI.
GCU struck first when they plated a run in the bottom half of the first inning, when a double steal saw Chapman score after drawing a walk. The next two frames were scoreless on both sides before the ‘Lopes exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Four of the first five batters in the inning crossed home plate as they nearly batted around in the inning after collecting five hits.
The ‘Lopes tacked on one run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth after collecting five hits between the two frames.
"This was probably one of our better efforts in terms of putting all of the elements together," Stankiewicz added. "They are going to come back ready to get after it tomorrow, so that will be a challenge for us."
The two teams will meet for the second game of the series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Brazell Stadium. Fans can follow the action via live stats by visiting www.gculopes.com.
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