The Grand Canyon
University baseball team used a couple of timely hits and scored two of their
three runs with two outs to win, 3-2, over Texas-Pan American (13-21, 3-6 WAC)
in the series finale today at Edinburg Baseball Stadium in Edinburg, Tex. It
was the third straight one-run game between the teams in the three-game series.
Click here for Michael Potter's postgame interview with Nathan Choate.
The game did not come without dramatics, as the Broncs twice threatened with the bases loaded in two of the final three innings.
Starter Ethan Evanko tossed 6.0 strong innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts, to improve to 3-1 on the season. Evanko had stretches where he retired at least six straight Broncs batters as he did not allow a run after the third inning.
Kyle Detwiler tossed 1.1 scoreless innings of relief to secure the save, becoming the fourth different GCU pitcher with a save this season.
Josh Meyer led the offensive effort after going 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Paul Panaccione, Matt Haggerty, Michael Pomeroy, and Brandon Smith also collected a hit in the game. Haggerty and Pomeroy joined Meyer with an RBI apiece.
"Especially after two tough losses, it is nice to come back and win a tight game," said head coach Andy Stankiewicz. "It was an exciting game, and the best part about it is that we won a close game – the guys made pitches when they had to. That's kind of who we are. We have to compete and stay in it."
"What I'm most proud of is that we won a one-run game," added Stankiewicz. "We got the big hits at the right times. We are starting to learn how to compete with two strikes at the plate."
UTPA got on the board in the first inning after the leadoff man reached on a single through the left side and came around to score one out later. Despite finding themselves in a jam with runners on first and second and just one out, the Lopes did not allow another run to cross as they limited the Broncs to just a 1-0 lead.
The Lopes responded by tying the score at one in the top of the second. Meyer connected for a two-out double into right-centerfield and crossed home plate on a single to right field off the bat of Pomeroy.
The Broncs broke the tie in the third inning on Alex Howe's two-out solo home run over the right field fence to reclaim the 2-1 advantage.
Meyer collected his second double in as many at-bats to plate Brian Kraft with the tying run in the fourth inning. GCU looked to add to their scoring in the frame with Meyer and Smith both in scoring position, but Broncs pitcher Alex Henson ended the threat with a strikeout.
One inning later, GCU staked their first lead of the contest after Chad De La Guerra came around to score on an RBI single up the middle by Haggerty. It was the second run scored by the Lopes with two outs on the board and proved to be the game-winner.
Evanko got out of a jam in the fifth inning as the Broncs had runners on first and second to preserve the one-run lead.
UTPA threatened again in the seventh as they had the bases loaded with two outs, but reliever Jaren Drummond induced a pop up to Josh Ethier at third base to get out of the inning. The eighth once again saw the Broncs load the bases with two outs on the board and this time it was Detwiler who kept UTPA off the board with a fly out to right field.
Detwiler, who entered the game with two outs in the eighth, secured his first save after recording a scoreless ninth inning.
GCU returns home to welcome WAC-leader Sacramento State to Brazell Stadium for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard live by tuning in to Independent Talk 1100 AM KFNX (online at www.1100kfnx.com or via the TuneIn Radio app on any smartphone).
"It is certainly good to get on a flight back home," said Stankiewicz.
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