‘Lopes keep title hopes alive; eliminate Coker College 10-2

It was do or die in Cary, N.C., for the Lopes baseball team, and they did.

Starting pitcher Jorge Perez pitched his third complete game of the season – his second in the postseason – as Grand Canyon eliminated Coker College 10-2 at the NCAA Division II Baseball Championships on Tuesday.

Perez allowed the two runs (both unearned) on five hits, one walk and six strikeouts. He improves to 8-4 on the season.

With the win, the Lopes are now 40-18, the most wins the program has had since they got 43 back in 1990 when they were a part of the NAIA.

Grand Canyon now awaits their next opponent, who they’ll face tomorrow at 4 p.m. Arizona time. They’ll play the loser of the Tampa/St. Edward’s game, which gets underway tonight.

The Lopes’ bats were quite active on the day. Grand Canyon had a season-high nine extra-base hits (seven doubles, two triples). They scored 10 runs for the 12th time this season (they’re undefeated in all 12 games).

Freshman Brian Kraft led the way with four hits – his first four-hit game of the season. Steven Swingle and Brandon Smith had two hits apiece. Swingle and Charles Wagner both had two RBI.