LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
A pair of offensive outbursts lifted UC San Diego over No. 28 Cal State L.A., 10-7, to begin a key California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) baseball series at Reeder Field on Thursday night.
With a second straight road victory, the Tritons improved to 13-11 overall and 8-9 in the CCAA. First-place Cal State L.A., a winner of five straight heading in, fell to 15-9 overall and 13-4 in league play.
UCSD threatened in the second when Nick La Face drew his league-best 21st walk to lead things off, was bunted to second and moved to third on a passed ball. CSULA starter Jordan Sechler got consecutive infield popouts, however, to keep him there.
Manny Acosta produced a two-out double in the home second before a groundout.
Senior right-hander Ryan Goodbrand threw all strikes in the bottom of the third, with all three putouts in the frame being made by All-American centerfielder Danny Susdorf. His first offering to Jeremy Weber with two gone, however, went over the fence in left field to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 edge.
It was Weber's first home run of the year and the first long ball served up by Goodbrand in 40 innings of work.
Cal State L.A. doubled its advantage in the fourth as junior catcher Cody Doyle led off with a single up the middle and scored on Ryan Cooperstone's one-out, first-pitch double into the gap in left center. With Cooperstone standing on third and two away, Goodbrand got David Trejo waving at strike three to keep the deficit at two runs.
Junior third baseman Garrett Tuck collected the first Triton hit of the night with a single to open the fifth. Sam Michaels then worked the count full and took his free base, and Sechler balked to advance both runners into scoring position. Scott Liske was hit by a pitch, and UCSD was in business with bases full for the top of the order.
Junior shortstop Dillon Moyer slid a single underneath Sechler's glove and straight up the middle to cut the CSULA lead in half, but centerfielder Scott Masik threw to Doyle to get Michaels at the plate as the tying run.
Freshman second baseman Troy Cruz slapped a single through the left side to load the bags back up, and Sechler misfired once more, contacting Susdorf with a 2-0 offering to force in the tying run after all. Richard Seigel's sacrifice fly gave UCSD its first lead of the contest at 3-2. La Face followed with a clutch two-run double off the wall in center field to send Cruz and Susdorf sprinting home for 5-2.
The Tritons were unable to put together a shutdown inning, however, as a one-out single by Masik and a Weber double to right center, both coming with two strikes, pulled one back for CSULA. A flyout and groundout ended the inning.
Goodbrand issued a one-out walk to Cooperstone in the bottom of the sixth, but came back to strike out both Acosta and Trejo swinging.
Justin Rahn moved in from left field and took over for Goodbrand on the mound to begin the bottom of the seventh. After a hit-by-pitch and a single to put Golden Eagles on the corners, a wild pitch made it 5-4. Weber was retired for the first time in the game on a groundout to Moyer, but a four-pitch walk to James Wharton forced another pitching change as senior left-hander Richard Kilbury came on.
Kilbury did his job and got the left-handed Doyle to ground out, making way for Scott Zeman. The right-hander promptly sent Tyler Christian away on three pitches.
With Sechler still on for Cal State L.A., three pitches into the eighth, La Face provided some insurance for the Tritons by lifting his third home run of 2013 to left.
Consecutive singles by Rahn and Tuck finally ended Sechler's night. A bunt attempt by James Mossholder got the lead runner eliminated at third. Pinch-hitter Corbin Wirta worked the count full and walked to load the bases, ahead of a sacrifice fly by Moyer. With the other two runners also advancing a base on the play, Cruz's two-strike single through the right side scored two more for a 9-4 bulge.
The Tritons tacked on a single unearned run in the ninth as Seigel walked to lead off, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an infield error.
The home side still managed to make things interesting after two were gone in its last at-bat as Weber tripled to center field to complete his cycle and scored on Wharton's single, ahead of a two-run shot by Doyle. With the tying run at the plate in the form of Acosta, a foulout ended further drama.
Goodbrand (6-1) got back to his winning ways after taking his first losing decision in a Triton uniform in his previous outing at Sonoma State last Friday, Mar. 8. He went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out four.
Sophomore right-hander Dan Kolodin, whose six appearances so far this season had all been in a starting role, tossed a perfect eighth in relief for the Tritons with a pair of groundouts around a called third strike.
La Face turned in a double and a home run for the second time in three games, finishing 2-for-4 with a walk, run scored and three RBI. Cruz was 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI. Tuck added a pair of hits and two runs. Moyer knocked in two.
Sechler (4-1) gave up eight runs on eight hits and three walks over seven-plus frames. He fanned seven, including the side in order in the third with the first two looking, and two more to begin a 1-2-3 sixth.
Weber was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Masik and Doyle had two hits apiece.
UCSD and Cal State L.A. contest another single primetime affair at Reeder Field on Friday night, Mar. 15. First pitch is again set for 6 p.m.
Triton Notes: UCSD is now 7-1 in night games and an even 4-4 against ranked opponents in 2013 ... Nick La Face has started 81 straight games ... The home run was the 10th of his college career ... Richard Seigel has started 61 games in a row, all at first base ... Seigel's ninth-inning steal was his sixth on eight attempts ... Senior Sam Michaels was the starting designated hitter after missing all of last week's series at Sonoma State ... Ryan Goodbrand made his 22nd start in a Triton uniform and has gone at least 5.0 innings in each of those 22 outings, with UCSD now 19-3 when he pitches ... The home run that Goodbrand allowed was his first in 86.1 innings going back to Mar. 30, 2012, at Cal State Stanislaus ... Goodbrand surrendered a season-high four extra-base hits on the night ... With four more putouts tonight, Danny Susdorf's defensive streak without an error extended to his last 91 games and 221 chances dating back to April 29, 2011 ... The performance marked the first three-hit game of Troy Cruz's career ... James Mossholder's ninth-inning single was his first hit of the season ... Dan Kolodin's ninth-inning plate appearance was the first of his college career ... UCSD has reached a double-figure run total in back-to-back games for the first time in 2013 ... The Tritons have scored in double figures three times on the year, winning all three contests.
-- UCSDtritons.com --