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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GCU hands Arizona baseball it’s worse loss on the season, beating the Wildcats 24-8

Danielle Main
Blake McDonald up to bat as it starts raining during game against New Mexico State March 26th at Hi Corbett Field. Blake being on the top four game leaders bringing in one RBI to help in the Wildcats battle. Final score 9-12.

The No. 21 Arizona baseball team faced a tough challenge against in-state opponent Grand Canyon University on Tuesday, Apr. 30. This was the third matchup all year between these two teams, with each team winning one game before Tuesday night’s matchup. The Wildcats ended up losing 24-8, their largest point differential in a loss this season.

The game saw a total of 10 pitchers take the mound for the Wildcats, with Kyler Heyne and Eric Orloff being the only pitchers to put up scoreless outings in their brief appearances. Despite the pitching carousel and lopsided final score, the Wildcats kept it close with GCU to start the game. After RBI hits from Emilio Corona, Andrew Cain, Blake McDonald and a 2-run home run from Garen Caulfield, the Wildcats found themselves locked in a tight battle through five innings, tied at 8-8 with the Lopes.

With the game tied headed into the top of the sixth inning, the Lopes displayed their offensive prowess, breaking the tie with a 4-run sixth inning. Four consecutive two-out, extra-base RBI hits propelled them to a 12-8 advantage, setting the stage for their explosive finish. After getting three straight outs in the bottom of the sixth, the game took a dramatic turn as GCU exploded for 16 unanswered runs, spearheaded by a monumental 12-run seventh inning. The inning started modestly with a ground out but quickly escalated as 13 consecutive batters reached base, capitalizing on hits, walks, hit batters, errors and more to secure an insurmountable lead.

Every GCU starter contributed to the offensive onslaught, with senior third baseman Eli Paton delivering a career-high six RBIs and senior center fielder Cade Verdusco matching his career-high with four hits, boosting his season batting average to an impressive .412. Additionally, senior left fielder Tyler Wilson, senior second baseman Elijah Buries and senior right fielder Eddy Pelc each contributed three hits to the Lopes’ dominant performance. The game marked a historic achievement for the Lopes, as they tallied 44 runs over two games, their highest output since returning to Division I in 2014. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, this was the second loss in a row against GCU, causing them to lose the season series 2-1.

Looking ahead:

Arizona baseball will play a three-game home weekend series against Stanford University from May 3-5 at Hi Corbett Field.

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