ARCATA, Calif. – No. 15 UC San Diego suffered its first California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) day sweep at No. 8 Humboldt State Friday at Lumberjack Field. The Tritons fell victim to a sluggish third inning to fall 9-2 in the opener before dropping the nightcap, 6-3.
UCSD falls to 30-11 overall and 19-7 in CCAA play following the pair of losses. HSU improves to 39-11 overall and 13-7 in league play with the victories.
The Tritons fell out of first place in conference play following the day and was leapfrogged by HSU in the standings. CSUMB sits in first, while the 'Jacks and UCSD stand in second and third, respectively.
The Tritons fell victim to a seven-run third inning by HSU in the opener to fall 9-2. The ‘Jacks, who entered as the conference’s leader in home runs and RBI, got to starter Alexis Edwards in the third for two homers to put the game out of reach.
The Tritons struck first in the top of the third to score a run on two hits. UCSD manufactured the run after Kirsten Willmon reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second to move into scoring position with two outs. Emily McQuaid followed with an RBI single just over the second baseman’s head to plate Willmon and put UCSD up 1-0.
The ‘Jacks wasted no time in answering the run, however, and scored seven times on five hits to go up 7-2. The two big hits in the inning proved to be a leadoff home run from Anrea Chaves to knot the game at one, before Dani Randall nailed a three-run homer to right center.
UCSD was able to plate a run in the top of the fourth, but left the bases loaded and wasted an opportunity to jump back into the game. The run was scored after Mya Romero doubled to center field with one out, and was brought home on a double from Alissa Gutierrez two batters later. Amani Proctor followed with a walk to put runners each base, but HSU forced a pop out and a strikeout to end the threat and lead 7-2 after 4.5 innings.
HSU added two late runs in the fourth and the fifth and shut down the Triton offense in the final three frames, allowing a single hit, to clinch the 9-2 victory.
The Tritons were limited to six hits overall in the loss, led by two from Proctor. McQuaid and Gutierrez recorded the lone RBI, while Romero and Willmon scored the runs for UCSD.
Edwards (17-5) allowed a season-high seven earned runs in the loss in 2.1 innings. She allowed six hits and three walks. Hannah Duarte came in relief of Edwards and finished with a line of 3.2 innings, four hits allowed with one earned run.
The seven-run loss marked the largest margin of defeat UCSD has suffered this season.
The ‘Jacks scored four unanswered runs in the nightcap to down the Tritons, 6-3.
After HSU scored twice in the bottom of the first, the Tritons answered with a run in the third and two in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. UCSD plated the first run on a double steal that allowed Willmon, who doubled down the right field line, to score. The following inning, the Tritons grabbed the lead after recording three hits. Caitlin Brown and Romero led off with singles and were eventually brought home by a Katie Saunders RBI double and an Ashley Chestnut suicide squeeze.
The 3-1 advantage was short lived, however, as the ‘Jacks exploded for a three spot in the fourth. The blow in the inning was delivered by Tonya Walker, who homered to left center to plate all three runs. HSU added another run in the fifth before shutting down the Triton offense to earn the 6-3 win.
Jennifer Manuel was tagged with the loss after throwing a full six innings and allowing six earned runs on nine hits, four walks and one strikeout.
The offense was led by two hits apiece from Proctor, Saunders and Willmon. Saunders and Chestnut delivered the lone RBI, while Brown, Romero and Willmon all tallied a run each.
The CCAA series continues tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. at Lumberjack Field.