ARIZONA

Grand Canyon baseball defeats Arizona in NCAA tournament’s Tucson regional

May 31, 2024, 9:26 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm

GCU baseball...

Grand Canyon baseball defeated Arizona at the Tucson regional of the NCAA baseball tournament (X Photo/@GCU_Baseball)

(X Photo/@GCU_Baseball)

Grand Canyon baseball upset regional host Arizona 9-4 in the NCAA baseball tournament Friday at sold-out Hi Corbett Field in Tucson.

The Antelopes won a game in the tournament for the first time in program history.

GCU will take on West Virginia in the winner’s bracket Saturday at 7 p.m. MST, while Arizona has an elimination game against Dallas Baptist at 1 p.m. MST. Regionals are double elimination, and the winner will head to a best-of-three super regional for a chance at the College World Series.

WVU defeated DBU 4-1 in the opening game of the Tucson regional.

GCU’s Tyler Wilson, the WAC Player of the Year, led off the game with a home run on the second pitch thrown by Arizona starter Clark Candiotti.

The Wildcats, though, grabbed the lead with three runs in the second inning off GCU’s Grant Richardson, who took a comebacker off the leg and was looked at by trainers. Pac-12 All-Conference Team outfielder Brendan Summerhill hit the go-ahead single.

Both offenses went quiet until the sixth inning, when GCU’s Eddy Pelc shot a three-run double to clear the bases off Candiotti to go ahead 5-3. Pelc drove in four runs on Friday.

Candiotti — son of former MLB pitcher Tom Candiotti — finished with 6.0 innings, five earned runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Richardson went 6.0 innings with one earned run, five hits, four walks and five strikeouts. Isaac Lyon finished the final three innings for GCU.

The Antelopes blew the doors off on in the ninth inning on a two-run double by Zach Yorke, who hit a screaming ground ball to the wall in right field. Grand Canyon scored seven runs over the final four innings.

Arizona — which won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles — hit into three double plays that halted the offense.

The Antelopes beat the Wildcats in two of three meetings during the regular season.

The Lopes went 0-2 in each of their first two NCAA appearances, in 2021 and 2022, but now find themselves a No. 4 regional seed one win away from playing for a spot in super regionals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

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