THIS WEEK'S EVENTS:
Sat., May 22---Baseball---UCSD at NCAA Division II Championships---TBD
Sun., May 23---Baseball---UCSD at NCAA Division II Championships---TBD
IT'S BACK TO COLLEGE WORLD SERIES AS BASEBALL SWEEPS NCAA REGIONAL
For the second straight year, Coach Dan O'Brien's Baseball team will be heading to Cary, NC for the NCAA Division II College World Series-an eight-team, double elimination tournament that starts Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex...The No. 1-ranked Tritons (51-7), back-to-back champions of the CCAA, punched their ticket for a return trip to Cary by steamrolling through the NCAA West Regional in three consecutive games last week at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton.
Thursday afternoon, the Tritons set the tone with four first inning runs and rode the sturdy right arm of junior Tim Shibuya to a convincing, 12-0, rout of Hawaii Pacific in the first round of the NCAA Regional tournament...Shibuya, who set a new UCSD single season record with his 12th win, scattered five hits in his eight innings of work, fanning five in the process...UCSD recorded four of its 15 hits in the first frame, a two-run double by catcher Kellen Lee being the big blow...Lee ended up with four RBIs on the game while CCAA MVP Brandon Gregorich and junior right fielder Kyle Saul had three hits apiece and each scored three runs.
It was a much different scenario in Friday night's taut semi-final as the Tritons fought off a familiar foe, CCAA runner-up Cal State Dominguez Hills, for a hard-earned, 4-3, victory, their 50th of the season...UCSD managed just five hits, but senior Matt Rossman, the CCAA's Pitcher of the Year, overcame some rocky early moments to pitch a brilliant eight and a third innings...He couldn't quite close out a 3-2 lead, however...The resilient Toros tied it in the top of the ninth on a one-out double and would have taken the lead on that same play were it not for a picture perfect Aaron Bauman-to-Vance Albitz-to-Lee relay that nailed the go-ahead run at the plate...In the bottom of the inning, as they had all game, the Tritons scratched, clawed and finally pushed across the game-winner...Centerfielder Robert Sedin started things off with a four-pitch walk and moved to second on a balk...Albitz was intentionally walked but Saul foiled that strategy with a textbook sacrifice bunt... Dominguez then intentionally walked Bauman to load the bags and bring up Gregorich...The Tritons' all-time single season RBI leader got his 82nd of the season in unusual fashion, being hit on the foot by a pitch but it was that kind of night...The pesky Bauman had two hits and reached base four times...The win went to reliever Danny Simmons, now 5-0... Rossman, who remains 9-0, allowed just four hits, struck out seven and didn't allow a hit after the third.
Saturday's regional clinching game, a 9-4 whipping of Hawaii Pacific (which beat Chico State and Dominguez Hills to reach the final) was vintage Tritons...Down, 1-0, with just three hits after four innings, the UCSD bats detonated for six hits in the fifth that resulted in seven runs and it was "game over" for the Sea Warriors...The Tritons pounded four extra base hits during the uprising, including three in succession---a triple by Kehoe, triple by Susdorf and home run by Lee---to wrap-up the outburst...O'Brien's offense wound up with 12 hits and Saul was particularly problematic for HPU, going 2-for-2 with two walks, scoring twice and stealing a pair of bases...Junior Guido Knudson notched his ninth win of the season with a complete game, seven-hit performance that included five strikeouts.
Saul was named Regional MVP while Gregorich, Albitz, Susdorf and Shibuya joined him on the all-tournament team.
Read the website Q&A with Vance Albitz.
Listen to interview with Head Coach Dan O'Brien.
Listen to interview with junior pitcher Tim Shibuya.
Listen to interview with CCAA MVP Brandon Gregorich.
TRACK & FIELD PREPS FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
With the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships looming, May 27-29 in Charlotte, NC, Coaches Tony Salerno and Darcy Ahner sent a select group of athletes to Cal State L.A. last Saturday for a last shot at hitting national qualifying marks, solidifying existing marks or simply staying tuned up for the NCAA meet...Two Tritons, senior Leah Murphy and sophomore Caitlin Meagher, found the winners' circle in L.A... Murphy won the long jump with a leap of 18-3.25 and took second in the triple jump (38-3.5) while Meagher, without teammate Christine Merrill to contend with, clocked 63.17 to capture the 400 hurdles...Hammer throwers Marie Archer (158-10) and Fred Cook (159-9) both turned in third place performances.
The NCAA will be announcing the 2010 Championship field Wednesday...Salerno and Ahner are expecting to have between six and eight women earn berths into the national meet along with four men...For the Triton women, defending NCAA champions Christine Merrill (100 & 400 hurdles) and Linda Rainwater (high jump), junior sprinter Kelly Fogarty (100 & 200), versatile Stephanie LeFever (heptathlon & long jump), javelin star Theresa Richards and LeFever's pole vaulting sister, Donna look to be sure things... Less certain is the status of Murphy in both jumps and hammer thrower Marie Archer...Rainwater is also up-in-the-air due to a back injury that will definitely take her out of the heptathlon, an event she won as a sophomore, and possibly the high jump...The Tritons will also have teams entered in both relay events.
On the men's side, all four would appear strong bets to be on the plane to Charlotte...They are seniors Leon Baham (110 high & 400 intermediate hurdles) and Daniel Anderson (800), junior Casey Ryan (high jump) and sophomore Nick Howe (javelin)...The latter three are all UCSD record holders in their specialties.
WOMEN'S CREW FINISHES STRONG IN SACRAMENTO
Coach Pattie Pinkerton's Women's Rowing team closed out its 2010 campaign on a high note Saturday, hitting the podium three times in team competition and twice more in individual races at the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships outside Sacramento... Recording its fastest time of the season (7:22.8), the varsity eight---Denise Kleckner, Jaime Bigwood, Summer Austin, Megan Simmons, Courtney Escajeda, Wanda Chin, Jesi Bennett, Lynn Nguyen and coxswain Katrina Paz---placed second behind five-time defending NCAA D-II champion Western Washington.
Meanwhile, the varsity four---Brianna Patterson, Julie Montes, Carolyn Belak, Stacey Yates and coxswain Sandra Ireheda---grabbed third behind a pair of Western Washington boats and the novice four claimed third as well, knocking off Oregon and Cal in a race where UCLA and St. Mary's went 1-2...Senior Austin and sophomore Belak snagged the top two places in the collegiate single with Austin hitting the finish line in 9:50.3.
NEWS & NOTES
This week's edition of UCSD's online radio show, Triton Talk with host Craig Elsten, will feature Baseball Coach Dan O'Brien, CCAA Baseball MVP Brandon Gregorich, and track & field star Christine Merrill...The interviews will be posted late Monday afternoon at ucsdtritons.com.
The 17th annual Triton Athletic Associates Golf Tournament will be held Monday, May 24 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe...All proceeds will go to benefit the UCSD Athletic Department...For more information, click here or call the (858) 534-8460.
Head Coach Denny Harper has announced the signing of six high school standouts who will be joining the UCSD Men's Water Polo team next fall, including three local players...The San Diego trio includes two from Westview High School---Tyler Ranj and Lukas Syka---as well as La Jolla High product Cameron Ravanbach...Also coming to UCSD are Daniel Lorch (Moorpark H.S./Camarillo), Dane Sequeira (Newport Harbor H.S./Newport Beach) and Joshua Stilling (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, OR)...Lorch's brother, Michael, is a mainstay on Triton swimming & diving team while Sequeira comes from the same school that produced recent UCSD grad Steve Jendrusina.
On the women's side, Head Coach Brad Kreutzkamp's first recruiting class is comprised of eight freshmen and one junior college transfer...Kreutzkamp's seven spring high school signees-Katie Anderson (La Serna H.S./Whittier), Melissa Bartow (Las Lomas H.S./Walnut Creek), Allison Delgado (Santiago H.S./Corona), Leah Gonzales (Santa Barbara H.S.), Sarah Lizotte (Riverside Poly H.S.), Tala Majaj (Mission Viejo H.S.) and Andrea McKinney (Wilson H.S./Long Beach) will join Hannah Guthman (Royal H.S./Simi Valley), who committed to UCSD in November...JC All-American Natalie Peng from Cerritos College rounds out the group.
For more information on Triton sports, check our website at http://ucsdtritons.com.