Tempe, AZ – A cross valley rivalry was refreshed after a seven year hiatus on a damp, cool and blustery Tuesday night. Winds gusted to 35 mph as Grand Canyon and Arizona State took to the field, but by the end of the game great pitching had even calmed the weather and the flags finished the game limp in center field.
Brady Rodgers got the start for ASU going 5.0 strong innings giving up just two hits while striking out six but registering a no decision. Replaced by Josh Moody in the top of the sixth the score was still tied at nil until Antelope pinch hitter Colin Courtland singled in two runs with a drive into center field.
For Grand Canyon former Sun Devil Jeff Urlaub pitched just the first inning before giving way to Cody Repenning who cruised until running out of gas in the sixth, and gave up successive walks to Drew Maggi and Johnny Ruettiger. Justin McKee was called in from the bullpen to face Kole Calhoun who quickly tied the game up with a drive to left field. Zach Wilson would give ASU the lead in the seventh by scoring on a throwing error, while Raoul Torrez was next and he added an insurance run with a drive back up the middle.
Heat was called for at the end of the frigid night and Jake Barrett delivered plenty in the top of the 8th. Consistently registering 97 mph he struck out the three Grand Canyon batters he faced. In the 9th Jordan Swagerty mimicked his teammate by also striking out three straight Antelopes yet at a touch slower speed.
Final score Arizona State 4 – Grand Canyon 2. ASU will next host Auburn for a three game series starting on Friday night while GC hosts a pair of double-headers on Friday and Saturday.