Grand Canyon University catcher Griffin Barnes was a late addition to the ‘Lopes starting line-up in game 2 of their home series against the Seattle Redhawks on May 6. And, it’s a good thing that head coach Andy Stankiewicz made the move. The redshirt sophomore from Anaheim, California was 2 for 4 at the plate, scored a run, and drove home another. But, it was Barnes’ play in the top of the fourth that had the people all over the country talking.
In a game produced by the YurView Az production team for ESPN3 and a local television station, a Seattle U batter squared to bunt with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out. The ball was popped up in front of the plate and Barnes batted it up in the air twice with his right arm before making a diving catch to retire the batter. Color analyst Shea Hillenbrand, a former two-time MLB All-Star, made the comment that he had never seen anything like it in his 20 plus years of playing baseball. For his efforts, Grand Canyon’s Griffin Barnes was awarded the ESPN Play of the Day by Sportscenter announcers for the entire country.