GCU wins fourth WAC Series

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The Grand Canyon University baseball team (21-17, 10-5 WAC) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 14-3 Western Athletic Conference victory in the series finale against Northern Colorado at Jackson Field in Greeley, Colo. The win handed the Antelopes their fourth conference series victory of the season.

Click here for Michael Potter's postgame interview with assistant coach Nathan Choate.

It was the sixth double-digit scoring game for the Lopes, while the squad also collected 10 or more hits (15) for the 16th time.

The Lopes drew a season-high 11 walks in the game, four of which came with David Walker at the plate, the most for a single player in a game this season. That team total marks the most since GCU had 12 walks on April 13, 2013 at Dixie State.

Ethan Evanko had yet another strong start for the Lopes, allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 6.0 innings of work. It was the seventh time that Evanko has tossed at least 6.0 innings and allowed two or fewer runs.

Malcolm Purdy became the fifth different GCU reliever to pick up a save this season with 3.0 strong innings of work. He allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout in that time.

Chad De La Guerra extended his hitting streak to eight games after going 2-for-5, while also extending his streak of reaching base to 15 straight. Josh Meyer recorded his fifth multi-hit game over his last six contests, collecting a pair of hits in today's win. For the second straight game, Meyer matched his career-high with four RBI.

Michael Pomeroy had three hits and a season-high three RBI. Other GCU players with multiple hits were Jon Kealoha and Ben Mauseth. Kealoha and De La Guerra added two RBI apiece.

The Lopes took advantage of back-to-back walks to open the game when Meyer doubled to right field to put GCU ahead 2-0 in the first. Pomeroy plated Meyer with his first triple of the year to make it a three-run ballgame before the inning was over.

Walker brought home Seth Fretheim with the fourth run of the game in the second inning with a nicely executed bunt down the first base line. One out later, Meyer picked up his third RBI with a single up the middle to score Kealoha.

With the bases loaded in the third, Kealoha drew a walk to plate Mauseth, who collected a one-out base hit, to push GCU's lead to 6-0.

Evanko did not allow the Bears to put runners in scoring position until the bottom of the sixth. Northern Colorado used a walk followed by a bunt single to put two runners on, both moved up one base on a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the frame. The Bears pushed two runs across on a single into right field before Evanko ended the inning with a strikeout.

GCU, who was held scoreless over the previous four frames, loaded the bases with just one out in the eighth and plated three runs to build their lead to 9-2. Walker drew a one-out walk, his fourth of the contest, and moved to second on a bunt single off the bat of Kealoha. After De La Guerra drew a walk to load the bases, Meyer followed with a walk of his own to score Walker. Pomeroy and Aranda then hit back-to-back singles to bring home Kealoha and De La Guerra before a double play ended the inning.

In the next frame, the Lopes once again loaded the bases, this time with no outs on the board. GCU added five runs to their total in the inning after collecting six hits. The bears tacked on a run in the bottom half with a solo home run over the right field fence.

GCU will return to Brazell Stadium for a three-game WAC series against New Mexico State beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m. All three of the games 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).

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