In a clash of two teams that tied for first in the preseason Western Athletic Conference (WAC) coaches’ poll, the UTRGV baseball team beat the Grand Canyon Lopes 6-2 in the WAC opener Friday at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Vaqueros (8-4, 1-0 WAC) are now winners of six in a row.
Senior Kevin Stevens (2-2) pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, striking out six while scattering three hits and three walks. Stevens hasn’t allowed an earned run in 14 innings dating back to Feb. 27 at Washington.
The Vaqueros scored all the runs they needed during the fourth when, with the bases loaded and two outs, postbaccalaureate student Christian Sepulveda ripped a 1-0 offering from Zach Barnes (1-3) down the lef- field line to clear the bases and make the score 3-0.
During the sixth, the Vaqueros scratched across a run on an infield single and an error. Then, with a runner at third and two outs, Barnes intentionally walked Sepulveda, who immediately stole second, setting up a two-run single by junior DeAndre’ Shelton to make the score 6-0.
Graduate student Andy Atwood scored in both innings, finishing 2 for 3.
The Lopes (3-8-1, 0-1 WAC) got on the board during the eighth on a bases-loaded walk by Ryland Zaborowski.
The Lopes added a run with two outs in the ninth on a single by Brock Burton.
UTRGV and Grand Canyon are set for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. today. The first game is scheduled to last seven innings, while the second game is scheduled for the full nine. Fans can watch for free online at WACDigitalNetwork.com.