POMONA, Calif. - The fourth-ranked University of California San Diego baseball team struck for six runs in the first inning and made it hold up to top Cal Poly Pomona, 7-4, in game one of a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) doubleheader Saturday at Scolinos Field.
A pitchers' duel went the way of the home side in the shortened seven-inning nightcap, 2-1. The Tritons scored in the first again with a single tally, but a solo home run knotted it in the fifth before the Broncos walked off in the seventh.
With a split of the twin bill, UC San Diego moved to 25-10 overall and 17-8 in the CCAA. CPP is 21-18 overall and 17-11 in league play. The Broncos thus won the series by virtue of having taken the first two meetings in La Jolla on Thursday and Friday night, 7-1 and 9-3. It marks the first series loss for the Tritons this year, after nine wins and a split. UCSD's lead over CPP atop the CCAA South sits at 1.5 games.
UCSD heads into another four-game, split-venue series against a CCAA South foe in the coming week, playing at Cal State Dominguez Hills at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21. The set concludes in La Jolla with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 22, starting at 1 p.m.
Game One - UCSD 7, CPP 4
Junior left-hander Kyle Dohy began the game with nine straight balls, walking Brandon Shirley and Jack Larsen. JD Hearn beat out an infield nubber to the second baseman, with an errant throw allowing Shirley to sprint home from third. Tyler Durna's first-pitch single to center made it 2-0, with two Tritons still in scoring position and no outs. Jesse Moore ground ball up the middle could only be smothered by Bronco shortstop Chris Stratton, going for an RBI infield single.
Dohy finally registered the first out on a swinging strikeout, but after a wild pitch moved Moore to second, a right-sided RBI groundout by Michael Palos made it 4-0. J.T. Williams came through with the opposite-field RBI single to right for 5-0 as UCSD batted around. Williams then swiped his first bag as a Triton, setting it up for Tim White to expertly work the count full and send another clutch two-out RBI single to the opposite field in left. UCSD sent 10 men to the plate with Dohy expending 47 pitches.
Redshirt junior right-hander Kyle Goodbrand found his own struggles in the initial frame, with two walks following a leadoff single by Stratton. His catcher, Palos, did however notch the first out as he picked Cody Martin off of first while Stratton moved to third on a wild pitch. A fielder's choice RBI groundout pulled one back for the Broncos as the Tritons were narrowly unable to turn the double play.
Daniel Pitts drove the first pitch of the home fourth into the gap in left center, with the ball rolling all the way to the wall for a leadoff double. A deep flyout on Goodbrand's very next offering moved him to third. A right-sided RBI groundout by Jason Padlo pulled CPP to within 6-2.
UCSD put runners at the corners in the sixth off of new pitcher Cade Kirkemo through a leadoff Palos single up the middle, Williams sacrifice, two-out wild pitch and a walk to Shirley, but Larsen flied out to end that threat.
CPP got two runs closer in the sixth on back-to-back two-out doubles inside the left field line by Hernandez and Padlo after Nogales had drawn a four-pitch walk with one away and scooted to third on a pair of wild pitches. After an infield single by Brennan McKenzie, Erik Amundson finally got out of the inning with a flyout.
Hearn quickly restored a three-run advantage as he led off the seventh with his fourth home run of 2017, pulled deep over the wall in left.
After Jacob Bernardy led off the home half with a single up the middle, Amundson wiped that out by dialing up an around-the-horn double play off Stratton's bat. Following another single up the middle, the redshirt sophomore right-hander completed the shutdown inning by getting a fourth ground ball, this one a fielder's choice groundout to Tyler Howsley, who had just entered at shortstop. Howsley ranged toward the hole to his right before making the difficult turn and throw.
UCSD left Palos standing on third for the second time in three innings in the eighth after the redshirt sophomore led off with a single to right center.
Pitts began the home eighth with a double as well, this one eluding Larsen's reach down the line in right. He moved to third as Travis Roberts came on for Amundson just to face the left-handed Hernandez and got him to ground out to Howsley. Jonah Dipoto took over and fanned Padlo swinging on four pitches, all strikes. He then got Bryce Graddy to hit a 3-2 offering to Hearn, who made no mistake for the third out.
The Tritons started the ninth with consecutive singles by Larsen and Hearn. Durna was unable to put the bunt down, going down 0-2, before scalding a pitch to right that looked for sure to be a double. Pitts got turned around but somehow snared the ball, with Hearn caught off first for a double play. UCSD got nothing from the frame.
After Dipoto struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Candalla to open the last half, CPP dumped consecutive singles into right center to bring the tying run to the plate. Martin made solid contact with the first pitch he saw, but Shirley sprinted in and dove forward to rob him of a base hit that would really have made things tenuous. Dipoto then got Nogales swinging to earn his third save.
Goodbrand (2-0) went 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on three hits and four walks. He struck out three. Goodbrand quickly set the Broncos down in order in the third on a groundout, called third strike and flyout. He had another 1-2-3 frame on just eight pitches in the fifth through a called third strike, flyout and groundout.
Hearn finished 3-for-5 with his blast, two runs and one RBI. Palos went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Durna was 1-for-4 with a walk, run and RBI.
Hearn went down to his knees to make a difficult stab at third base of a hot shot off the bat of Cody Martin for the first out of the home sixth.
Dohy (4-2) gave up six runs on five hits and three walks over 5.0 frames, striking out six. He was perfect in the third with two strikeouts preceding a groundout, and again in the fourth on a groundout, swinging strikeout and popout. Dohy had a stretch of eight straight batters retired, and 13 of 15 to end his outing, with the lone exceptions a walk to Durna in the second and a fielding error charged to first baseman Nic Hernandez on Durna's third plate appearance in the fifth.
Pitts was 2-for-4 with his two doubles, a run and RBI.
Game Two - CPP 2, UCSD 1 (7)
Larsen sent the second pitch he saw from senior right-hander Henry Omana into right for a single for starters in game two. He moved to second on a one-out wild pitch, and to third as Durna bounced a 3-2 pitch up the middle for a single that extended his hit streak now to 21 games. Justin Flatt then took the first pitch of his at-bat down the line in right for an RBI single and another early Triton lead, 1-0. UCSD was unable to do further damage due to a shallow flyout and strikeout.
Redshirt senior right-hander Adrian Orozco (Chula Vista/Otay Ranch HS) came right out and turned in a quick 1-2-3 shutdown frame through a swinging strikeout, flyout and groundout.
Howsley battled his way to a full count and subsequent walk with two gone in the second to roll the order over to the dangerous Larsen, but Omana struck him out.
Orozco cleaned up a two-out Padlo single in the second thanks to his catcher, as redshirt freshman Nick Kitzmann fired behind Padlo to pick him off of first.
Orozco had faced the minimum 13 batters through 4.1 when Hernandez deposited an 0-1 pitch over the fence in right center to tie the game with his fifth home run of the season and second of the series. The sophomore had just in the previous frame made a huge defensive play, robbing Larsen of a one-out double with the tough stab of a hard-hit ball down the line.
CPP put together back-to-back one-out singles to put men on the corners in the sixth, but after a visit to the mound by head coach Eric Newman, Orozco punched out Nogales to keep things level at 1-1 going to the seventh.
Roberts (1-1) came on to face Hernandez after Orozco got Pitts to fly out in the seventh. Dipoto took the hill and dialed up a ground ball, but Howsley was unable to find the handle. McKenzie then drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases for pinch-hitter Candalla, who bounced a walk-off single through the right side.
Orozco gave up one run on four hits and no walks over 6.1 innings. He struck out five. He was perfect in the third as well, via swinging strikeout, groundout and flyout. Orozco took the putout himself on the ground ball, gliding to the bag to handle Durna’s flip. A flyout, groundout and another swinging strikeout as Nogales was caught waving got him through the fourth.
Omana (3-5) went 7.0 frames and surrendered one run on three hits, one walk and a hit-by-pitch, striking out four. His first 1-2-3 inning came in the fourth on two flyouts around a popout. Omana then also cruised through both the fifth and sixth.
Triton Notes: Tyler Howsley extended his consecutive games played streak to 144 dating back to the 2015 opener ... Jack Larsen has appeared in 99 straight games, all of them starts ... JD Hearn has appeared in 66 games in a row, all of them starts ... Hearn, Howsley and Larsen are the only Tritons to appear in all 35 games this season ... Tyler Durna extended his team-best streaks to 26 straight games reaching base and 21 with a hit ... Durna's hit streak is a new single-season record for UCSD's Division II era, eclipsing Aaron Bauman's 20-gamer from 2010 ... Game One: Keenan Brigman started for just the second time at shortstop ... J.T. Williams drew his fourth start as a Triton and first as the designated hitter ... Kyle Goodbrand made his fourth start of the year ... Game Two: Jack Larsen hit leadoff for just the second time in his college career ... Adrian Orozco made his ninth start of the year and 10th of his Triton career.