Grand Canyon romps CSU Bakersfield to open WAC tournament
Grand Canyon began the Western Athletic Conference Tournament with a bang, routing CSU Bakersfield 11-2 on Wednesday at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa.
The fourth-seeded Lopes (35-22, 18-9 WAC) advance to the winners’ bracket where they will take on No. 2 seed UT Rio Grande Valley at 3 p.m. today.
Fifth-seeded CSUB (24-35, 12-15 WAC) moves to the losers’ bracket and will face No. 3 Sacramento State in an elimination game at 11 a.m. today. Sacramento State lost 3-2 to sixth-seeded Utah Valley Wednesday night.
GCU knocked around the Roadrunner’s pitching staff, recording 16 hits including six for extra bases.
CSUB committed five errors and allowed two unearned runs to score in the loss.
Kona Quiggle opened the scoring for the Lopes in the bottom of the second. He tripled to right center and came in to score on an error.
In the home half of the fourth, Quiggle was the cause of some shaky defense from CSUB. He reached on an infield single, but a bad throw allowed Cuba Bass to score and and extend the lead to 4-0.
After the Roadrunners chipped into the lead with a sacrifice fly from Eric Charles in the fifth, Quiggle launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning to put GCU up 7-1.
The Lopes added another run in the inning on an RBI double from Pikai Winchester. CSUB added another run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Noah Barba, but the Lopes answered back the next half inning with an RBI ground out from David Avitia.
A two-run single from Tyler Wyatt in the bottom of the eighth capped the scoring for GCU.
Quiggle, Bass, Winchester and Austin Ball all had three hits for the Lopes in the win.
Evan Berkey and Ryan Koch each recorded two hits for the Roadrunners.
Pierson Ohl threw seven innings for GCU, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk while striking out five.
Frankie Scalzo and Zach Barnes each threw a scoreless inning of relief to close out the win for the Lopes.
The Roadrunners’ starter, Edgar Barclay, was knocked around and took the loss. He went five innings, allowing eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits, two walks while striking out two. He also hit a batter.
Should GCU win today, it would advance in the winners’ bracket and play the winner of the matchup between No. 1 New Mexico State and Utah Valley on Friday at 7 p.m.
If the Lopes lose, they would face the winner of the losers’ bracket matchup of CSUB and Sacramento State at 11 a.m. on Friday in an elimination game.