PHOENIX -- Sophomore Josh Rolling finished 2-for-4 with a home run and a pair of RBI to stake the Hornets to an early lead while sophomore Jorge Bojorquez added two more hits for his second straight multi-hit game, but visiting Sacramento State could not hold off host Grand Canyon, which scored seven unanswered to pull away for a 7-4 victory on Saturday night at Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark in Phoenix, Ariz.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 24-22 overall and 14-12 in Western Athletic Conference play heading into Sunday's rubber game of the series at Noon. The 'Lopes, who got run scoring hits from five different players, improved to 32-16 overall and 18-5 in league.
Rolling's home run was his seventh of the year, placing him second on the team behind Cesar Valero, and recorded his ninth multi-hit game of the season. Bojorquez, meanwhile, also finished 2-for-4 with a run scored just 24 hours after posting three hits in a series-opening victory. It was the Arizona native's 15th multi-hit game of the season, a total that leads the team.
Daniel Avitia (6-4) earned the win for Grand Canyon, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out 14 over seven innings of work before giving way to Eli Ankeney in the eighth, who allowed a run on two hits and struck out a pair over the final two innings.
Max Pettey (2-1) took the loss in relief, allowing two runs on three hits over three innings while striking out five after taking over for starter Kevin Haynes, who was stuck with the no decision after surrendering three runs on five hits over the first three innings.
For the second straight night, it was the Hornets who got out to the early lead as Rolling's blast in the second scored Trevor Doyle ahead of him for the 2-0 lead. That was followed by a triple from Martin Vincelli-Simard in the third, scoring Bojorquez all the way from first with two outs for a 3-0 advantage.
The 'Lopes answered with three runs in their half of the third on a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly, and took the lead for good in the fifth on a Jacob Wilson RBI single, plating Juan Colato, who doubled in the previous at-bat.
Grand Canyon added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to take control as the 'Lopes held the Hornets hitless from the fourth to the ninth inning when Rolling singled and scored on Keith Torres' two-out triple to center for the final 7-4 score. GCU retired 17 of 18 hitters in that span, allowing only a runner to reach on a hit by pitch in the seventh.
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