Sophomore’s home run leads baseball to series sweep
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On a cool Sunday afternoon at Eck Stadium, sophomore Alec Bohm’s bat was red-hot — powering the Shocker baseball team to a weekend series sweep over Grand Canyon. His 3-4 performance was highlighted by two home runs, leading the team to a 5-3 victory in the series finale.
Bohm, who had just one hit in eight plate appearances in Saturday’s doubleheader, was glad to see his approach at the plate pay off.
“I knew my swing had been fine and there was really nothing wrong with it. I’ve just had some bad luck,” Bohm said. “That’s baseball.”
Head Coach Todd Butler was also relieved to see his powerful third baseman find his stride offensively.
“It’s good for (Bohm) to get that first home run behind him,” Butler said. “He’s been wanting that first one and he finally hit two today.”
It was GCU who struck first in the second inning off of starting pitcher Zach Lewis on a series of Shocker miscues, including a throwing error and a passed ball.
WSU countered in the bottom half of the inning on a Jordan Boyer double that caromed off the glove of the right fielder to score Trey Vickers. Boyer later scored to give the Shockers a 2-1 advantage.
Bohm’s solo homerun on the first pitch of the bottom of the third stretched the lead to 3-1, and his two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth made it 5-2 after GCU scored in the top half of the inning.
Lewis was relieved to start the fifth, and his successor, Codi Heuer, surrendered a home run to GCU’s Griffin Barnes. With runners on first and second with two outs, Gunner Troutwine threw out the lead runner at third base on a ball in the dirt to preserve the 5-3 lead.
Another close call came in the top of the eighth when Adam Keller loaded the bases with just one out before being replaced by senior Reagan Biechler.
Biechler got pinch-hitter, Tyler Wyatt, to hit a dribbler back to the mound and threw to Troutwine at the plate to force out the lead runner. A groundout to third ended the inning and GCU’s last legitimate scoring threat.
Butler was impressed by his senior’s clutch performance.
“Reagan Biechler coming in today with the bases loaded was probably the key to the ballgame,” Butler said. “He’s a class act and a winner.”
For his part, Biechler felt he was simply doing his job.
“I just know Keller put his trust in me and the coaches put their trust in me, Biechler said. “I had to get the job done. ”
In big moments, the southpaw has risen to the occasion.
“I’ve been put in that situation several times throughout my career, and I just like the high pressure situations and doing my job,” Biechler said.
Seven Shocker pitchers combined to hold GCU to three runs on seven hits.
“Our pitching has been really good and our bullpen has been outstanding,” Butler said.
Butler hopes to carry the momentum of two straight weekend sweeps and a 6-0 record into the Shockers’ next game against Omaha on Wednesday before hitting the road to take on Louisiana Tech over the weekend.