TURLOCK, Calif. - The 24th-ranked UC San Diego baseball team continued to add pages to its dramatic 2014 story in the first game of Saturday’s California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) doubleheader at Warrior Baseball Field, staging an improbable comeback from 4-1 down in the ninth to upend Cal State Stanislaus, 5-4, in 10 innings.
The Tritons then found the going much easier in the seven-inning nightcap, scoring 10 times over the first four frames for a comfortable 10-1 win to sweep the twin bill and clinch its third straight conference series victory.
The results give UCSD a 10-game win streak in league play, its longest since completing the 2011 season with 15 straight CCAA triumphs. With No. 7 Cal Poly Pomona splitting its doubleheader at Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, the Tritons now have a game-and-a-half lead over the Broncos in third place.
UCSD improved to 24-11 overall and 20-7 in league play. Last-place Stanislaus fell to 11-24 overall and 5-21 in CCAA action. UCSD had taken Friday night’s series opener, 13-4.
All five UCSD runs in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader came on two-out singles. Cal State Stanislaus scored three of its four runs with two away.
UCSD and Cal State Stanislaus conclude their series Sunday with a single finale set for a 12 p.m. first pitch at Warrior Baseball Field.
Each of the first four Triton batters in the opening frame extended freshman right-hander Nick Voumard, working the count full with Jack Larsen and Justin Rahn both drawing walks after outs. Troy Cruz flied out to end the early threat.
Skippy Ferreria doubled down the left field line three pitches into the home half, moved to third on a hard-hit flyout to right, and scored the day’s first run on another fly ball to right by Marcus Mastrobuoni.
Voumard promptly came out and hit Michael Mann with his fifth offering of the second and walked Brett Levy. Tyler Howsley’s sacrifice preceded a shallow flyout by Gradeigh Sanchez that wasn’t deep enough to score Mann. Leadoff batter Erik Lewis then took that job on, coming up with UCSD’s first hit, a single through the left side, to tie the game. Voumard caught Larsen looking to keep it that way.
Another leadoff hit in the second against Triton starter Trevor Scott was cleaned up by a 5-4-3 double play started by Cruz, with Scott then notching his first strikeout.
Stanislaus went back in front in the fourth, 3-1, on a two-out, RBI double to right center by Cameron Irinaga and an ensuing RBI single up the middle by Matt Chaidez.
Right away, Lewis took a 3-2 pitch from Voumard for ball four to open the fifth. With one gone, Nick La Face and Rahn drew four-pitch free passes back-to-back to load the bases. After a ninth straight toss outside of the strike zone, however, Voumard got the comebacker he needed out of Cruz on the checked swing, and started the inning-ending 1-2-3 twin killing to maintain the Warriors’ 3-1 advantage.
Stanislaus added to its lead on a true two-out rally in the fifth. Despite consecutive infield groundouts by Scott, a single by Colton Beatty brought Mastrobuoni to the plate to send a 3-2 pitch into the left field corner for an RBI double and 4-1 cushion.
A leadoff walk to James Heller and a two-out double just inside the right field line by Nick Ippolito put the Warriors back in business in the sixth, but Scott got Charlie Gaff to fly out to right on his next pitch.
Sanchez worked a four-pitch walk to begin the seventh and end Voumard’s afternoon, but reliever Ryan McDaniel got a fielder’s choice grounder, flyout and groundout from the top of the Triton order to keep them at bay.
Chad Rieser got a popout and his second strikeout to get out of trouble in the eighth with runners at second and third after two one-out singles and an outfield error.
UCSD then came all the way back in the ninth. With one away, Brandon Shirley beat out an infield single. Senior Garrett Tuck also came off the bench as a pinch-hitter and procured a walk. That brought on closer Dustin Baisdon for McDaniel. Lewis singled to center to leave the bases full of Tritons. After Larsen flied out to left, La Face worked the count full before pushing a two-run single up the middle. Rahn followed him up with a single up the middle of his own to level the score at 4-4. Baisdon (1-4) finally stopped the bleeding on his next pitch as Cruz flied out to right.
With Scott Zeman on for Rieser as UCSD also went to its closer in the ninth, Mastrobuoni got himself into scoring position at second as the potential game-winning run on a two-out single and another Triton outfield error. Dayton Mellor fouled out to send the contest into extras.
In the 10th, Levy walked with one away, moved to second on a right-sided groundout by Shirley, and came sprinting around with the go-ahead score on a clutch RBI single by Tuck. Martin Gomez relieved Baisdon and despite striking out Lewis swinging on three tosses, found himself facing Tritons at the corners on what went down as a wild pitch. Larsen walked to fill the bases, but Gomez finally got La Face to fly out to give his side a chance in the bottom half.
In that half, Zeman (3-2) retired Heller on one pitch through a flyout, sent Anthony Nicolosi back to the dugout empty-handed via strikeout, and got Chaidez to ground out to complete the come-from-behind triumph, earning the winning decision.
Scott allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks over 6.0 innings, striking out two. David Hart, who retired all six Warriors he faced Friday, came on against the top of the order in the seventh and struck out two, allowing just a one-out single.
Lewis went 2-for-5 with a walk, run and RBI. Rahn and Levy each had two walks and a single. La Face knocked in his pair. Larsen walked twice.
Voumard went six-plus frames, giving up one run on two hits, seven walks and one hit-by-pitch. He struck out seven, with two coming to cap a 1-2-3 third, two more around a one-out single in the fourth, and two more still to register a 1-2-3 sixth. McDaniel needed just six pitches to get through a perfect eighth with three flyouts.
Each of the first eight batters in the Warrior lineup had a hit. Mastrobuoni was 2-for-4 with his double and two RBI. Beatty collected three hits. Irinaga and Chaidez had two hits and one RBI apiece.
In the seven-inning nightcap, the teams traded single runs in the first before UCSD broke it open with three in the second, one in the third and five in the fourth. The big fourth saw 10 Tritons come to the plate, with four hits and three walks. Lewis drew the leadoff walk to ignite the rally that featured Rahn’s two-run single, Mann’s RBI double, Levy’s sacrifice fly and Christian Leung’s RBI single.
A trio of Tritons scattered three singles and combined for six scoreless innings after the first. Senior right-hander Blake Fassler needed just 54 pitches to get through the first five and improve to 4-2 on the year. He gave up the run on two hits. Fassler struck out two and did not walk a batter. He retired Stanislaus in order in the second, third and fifth, setting down 11 straight at one point. Dan Kolodin and Dean Friedberg split the remainder. The latter right-hander fanned a pair around a 4-6-3 double play, with Irinaga reaching on a wild pitch after going down swinging.
UCSD got on the board right away on an RBI double by La Face following a one-out Cruz single in the visitor first. CSUS answered with Ferreria hitting a single to begin the home half, moving to second on a right-sided groundout, stealing third and scoring on another ground ball. From there, it was all Tritons.
Cruz finished 3-for-4 with the first two-double effort of his college career. He scored two and drove in two. Lewis and La Face each walked two more times, with Lewis scoring twice and La Face knocking in two. Leung, a true freshman, was 2-for-3 with a run and the first two RBI of his Triton days. Rahn drove in two. Mann scored two.
Warrior starter Aaron Godinez (1-3) took the loss, lasting just two frames.
Triton Notes: Troy Cruz is the only Triton to start all 34 games, with seven coming on the mound … In the opener, Trevor Scott drew his seventh start of the year and 23rd of his career ... Jack Larsen, who had led UCSD in average (.425), walks (12) and on-base percentage (.558) over the previous 12 games, batted in the No. 2 spot in the order, the freshman’s highest this year ... Michael Mann’s second-inning hit-by-pitch was his team-best 11th ... Blake Fassler’s start in the nightcap was his ninth of 2014 and 18th of his Triton career ... Nick La Face extended his reached-base streak to 32 games, the longest by a Triton in 2014 ... La Face walked three times on the day to give him a league-best 34 ... The Tritons began the day by drawing a season-high 10 walks for the fourth time this season and second time in as many games in Turlock, and have 26 walks through the first three games of this series to up their league-best total to 184 … The Tritons have now reached double figures in runs nine times in 2014, and improved to 17-2 when tallying at least six runs in a game ... The 15 runs today increased UCSD’s CCAA-leading total to 225 ... The Tritons have equaled their number of league wins from a year ago (20-20) ... UCSD is 1-1 in extra-inning contests.