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Fri, Feb. 28

Phantoms take 2 victories<br>in Phoenix Country Day tourney

GC VILLAGE — The Grand Canyon High School baseball team opened the season by taking an impressive two wins in the Phoenix Country Day School Tournament Friday and Saturday.

The Phantoms defeated the host school, 11-9, Friday and then downed Arizona Lutheran, 11-7, Saturday.

"They did well for a 1A school going to a 2A tournament," GCHS coach Andrew Aldaz said. "This was a tournament to go down to see what we could do. We saw potential."

Aldaz said he was surprised at how well the team played, considering 10 of the 13 players are freshmen and sophomores and practice time outside has been limited because of the weather.

The Phantoms did well on the mound in all six games. John Hender, Jose Diaz-Gonzalez and Mike Vincent were the pitchers. Hender and Diaz-Gonzalez traded off at catcher and Vincent also was strong in the middle at shortstop.

The team opened the season Friday with a 7-0 loss to Mogollon. The game was closed most of the way with the Mustangs leading only 2-0 until the final inning.

Grand Canyon followed with an 8-2 setback to Valley Lutheran. The Phantoms stayed within striking distance until the end, the coach said.

Then came the 11-9 victory over Phoenix Country Day School. Diaz-Gonzalez got the win on the mound. Vincent had three hits, including a double and a triple, and Diaz-Gonzalez collected two hits.

The next morning, Diaz-Gonzalez took the mound again and pitched an excellent game, Aldaz said. However, the team lost to St. Gregory's out of Tucson, 3-1.

The final pool play game was against Arizona Lutheran and the Phantoms triumphed, 11-7. Grand Canyon rallied from a 6-1 deficit.

Vincent got the win at pitcher and the Phantoms collected 10 hits on offense. Vincent, Diaz-Gonzalez, Hender, Shane Cox and Joe Wilkerson each had two hits. Diaz-Gonzalez hit a home run. John Gabaldon, Vincent, Hender and Cox each had doubles.

In the final game, Tucson Green Fields beat the Phantoms, 14-4. Diaz-Gonzalez had two hits.

Grand Canyon (0-0, 2-4) will now head to Sedona on Friday to play the Scorpions' junior-varsity.

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