LA JOLLA, Calif. - Gregg Ringold had two triples and a double, but UC San Diego's regular season came to an end with a 10-4 loss against non-conference opponent Grand Canyon University Saturday afternoon at Triton Ballpark.
UCSD completed its 50-game regular season with a 29-21 overall record. GCU ended its year at 27-23. The Tritons are CCAA co-champions, along with Chico State. It's the fourth consecutive league title for UCSD.
The Antelopes led 4-0 after two innings of play and 6-1 after five and a half. The Tritons scored twice in the bottom of the sixth and got within two by plating a single run in the eighth, but a grand slam in the top of the ninth by GCU's PJ Garcia sealed the deal.
Ringold had a career day, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. The pair of triples were the first of the senior outfielder's career and it was his second double in as many days. Ringold raised his season batting average from .301 to .318 with Saturday's slugfest.
Second baseman Jonah Northrop also had a nice day at the plate, collecting two hits and two RBI. Shortstop Garrett Tuck had two hits, including a double, while catcher Brett Levy scored twice.
Seven of UCSD's 11 hits went for extra bases, five of those doubles.
The Tritons used five pitchers in the game. Starter Greg Selarz (4-5) gave up four runs on six hits over two innings. Richard Kilbury, Justin Burns and Elias Tuma combined to hold Grand Canyon scoreless over 2.2 innings.
For GCU, starter Jorge Perez (4-3) earned the victory, allowing three runs and eight hits through six innings of work. He struck out three and walked one.
Garcia was 2-for-5 including his fifth home run of the season. Aaron Mees, Ernesto Ortiz and Michael Pomeroy each had two hits with Ortiz knocking in two as well. Nine different Antelopes scored runs, two of those coming from Derek Mendoza.
Grand Canyon wasted no time getting on the board. In the top of the first inning, two singles put runners at the corners. A fielder's choice ground-out by Mendoza scored Joey Bristyan from third. Two batters later, Mendoza scored on a two-out single by Jackie Samora.
The 'Lopes tacked on another two runs in the second as the first two batters reached base - Mees on a single and Lucas Leifeld via a hit by pitch. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Bristyan and both scored when Ortiz singled back up the middle.
In the bottom of the fourth, Levy laced a two-out double down the left field line and scored UCSD's first run on Ringold's first triple, a shot to left-center.
The Antelopes would take a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning. Samora drew a leadoff walk and promptly scored when pinch hitter Tanner Hoechlin doubled to right-center. Following a bunt single by Mees, GCU loaded the bases with two outs when Ortiz walked. Pomeroy also walked, forcing in Hoechlin from third base.
UCSD answered with a pair of runs in its half of the sixth. Designated hitter Nick La Face led off with a double and scored immediately when left fielder Justin Rahn doubled in the next at-bat. Levy reached on a fielder's choice and made his way to third when Ringold doubled down the left field line. He scored on a ground out by Northrop.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Ringold tripled to right-center with one out and crossed the plate on a Northrop single, making the score 6-4 in favor of the Antelopes.
Back-to-back singles by Ortiz and Pomeroy started the ninth inning. Mendoza was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs, setting the table for Ortiz' grand slam home run to right field.
UCSD left 10 runners on base while GCU stranded seven.
Prior to the game, the six senior Tritons were recognized - Burns, Jeff Rauh, Ringold, Selarz, Tuma and Tony York.
Next up, the Tritons will be looking to win their fourth consecutive CCAA Tournament title as the four-team, double elimination battle will be held May 10-12 at Triton Ballpark in La Jolla. UCSD will be the No. 1 seed, Chico State is No. 2, Cal State San Bernardino No. 3 and Sonoma State No. 4.
First round match-ups on Thursday, May 10, will feature Chico State vs. Cal State San Bernardino at 3 p.m. and UC San Diego against Sonoma State at 7 p.m. Friday's games are slated for 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., while Saturday's championship tilts are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. (if necessary).
Daily general admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and children. Tickets will be available on game day at Triton Ballpark.
The winner of the league tourney earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
- UCSDtritons.com -