Grand Canyon takes two from Texans on Saturday


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton dropped a pair of games to WAC-leading Grand Canyon on Saturday. The Lopes took game one of the doubleheader 12-4 and scored late runs in game two to win 7-
3 to take a 3-0 series lead.

Tarleton will close out its 2021 inaugural Division I season on Sunday afternoon against GCU with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.

Game 1: Grand Canyon 12, Tarleton 4

A leadoff home run by Grand Canyon set the tone for the seven-inning game as the Lopes scored four runs in the first two innings and four more in the fourth and sixth innings to take the opener.

Tarleton got on the board in the third inning with Spencer Bloom’s sacrifice fly to plate Colby Feris after Feris’ leadoff triple to center. The Texans would score one run in each of the next four innings.

In the fourth, Kemuel Thomas-Rivera led off with a bunt single and Blake Burns followed with a double to right to put two on in scoring position with no outs. The Texans managed just a lone run, where Thomas-Rivera scored on a passed ball.

The fifth-inning run was delivered by Thomas-Rivera’s RBI single to center that brought home Tyler Fowler, who had a two-out double to right. Thomas-Rivera and Fowler led the Texan offense with 2-for-4 games, with Fowler recording a pair of doubles. The Texans had seven hits in the contest, with six of the hits coming from the 1-4 hitters in the lineup of Wade Raburn (1-for-4), Fowler, Thomas-Rivera, and Burns (1-for-3).

Josh Congress led the Tarleton pitching staff on the day, throwing the final 1.1 innings with two hits and no runs allowed.

Game 2: Grand Canyon 7, Tarleton 3

In the doubleheader finale, Tarleton starter Luke Baley was in a pitcher’s duel and kept the Texans close for all six innings of work and earning a quality start. For the second straight game, the Lopes hit a first-inning homer, but Baley settled down from there and held GCU scoreless through the next two innings.

A second GCU home run of the game, a two-run shot in the fourth, gave the Lopes a 3-0 lead. Baley would throw two more scoreless frames without a hit after that, never allowing a runner past first base. The junior right-hander from Magnolia threw 6.0 innings, allowing five hits, three runs and struck out six.

Tarleton was held scoreless until the seventh inning when the Texans hit three singles from Dean Few, Feris and Bryan Aguilar with Aguilar’s resulting in an RBI to make it a 3-1 game.

The Texans cut the deficit to one in the eighth after loading the bases with out out but managed just one run. Cody Vannoy hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 Lopes.

In the ninth, GCU scored four runs – including a three-run homer – to go up 7-2. The Texans got one run back on an RBI groundout from Thomas-Rivera to score Aguilar.

Tarleton had eight hits in the game, led by Feris (2-for-4) and Aguilar (2-for-3).

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