GCU secures seventh WAC Series win behind Bruns' complete game shutoutPosted: Updated:
The Grand Canyon University baseball team (27-20, 16-7 WAC) secured their seventh Western Athletic Conference series victory in eight tries with today's 4-0 win over the University of North Dakota (10-25, 8-12 WAC) at Kraft Memorial Field in Grand Forks, N.D. It marks the fifth straight WAC series win for the Antelopes, who also recorded their third shutout of the season.
Click here for Michael Potter's postgame interview with assistant coach Nathan Choate.
Starter Coley Bruns improved to 6-0 after allowing just four hits in the complete game effort. He issued just one walk and struck out four in his fourth complete game of the season. It was the first complete game shutout for Bruns since tossing a 1-hitter (7.0 innings) on April 6, 2013 at Fresno Pacific.
"This was a great pitching performance by Coley, and I'm very proud of his effort," said head coach Andy Stankiewicz. "When the infielders and outfielders know that the pitcher is working fast and is in a rhythm, it is no coincidence that we play better defense."
GCU also collected at least 10 hits for the fourth consecutive game and 21st time overall.
Chad De La Guerra gave GCU a cushion in the seventh inning after picking up two RBI while also extending his hit streak to 17 games. Michael Pomeroy also kept his streak alive with a first-inning single to make it 12 straight games.
David Walker matched his career-high for the second time with four hits, while Paul Panaccione and Ben Mauseth each picked up an RBI in the game.
"This is a tough place to hit because you want to stay out of the air," added Stankiewicz. "All of our base hits have been hard ground balls and line drives, and we have to commit to that. Chad's hit in the seventh gave us a cushion for Coley and from there, he really just took the game over. We have stay on it and get another win tomorrow."
After Pomeroy led off the second with a single to right field, Matt Haggerty moved him over to second with a well-placed sacrifice bunt. Humberto Aranda then doubled to right-centerfield to put runners on second and third before Mauseth plated the first run of the game with a groundout to shortstop.
GCU plated another run in the fifth after putting runners on first and second following back-to-back two-out singles. Panaccione singled to centerfield to score Brandon Smith and the Lopes had the bases loaded when De La Guerra was hit by a pitch before UND ended the threat with a flyout to left field.
UND had their first runner in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth after putting runners on first and second via an error and single to left field with one out. However, Bruns induced a flyout and strikeout to keep UND off the board.
De La Guerra made it 4-0 in favor of GCU in the seventh with a two-run single through the right side to score Mauseth and Panaccione. Bruns retired his final eight batters as their last chance to score came with their lone runner to reach third base in the seventh.
The series between the two teams will conclude tomorrow with first pitch slated for 11 a.m. (Arizona time). Fans can follow the action 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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