Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Catcher Nick La Face was 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
UCSD, Chico State Win On First Day of CCAA Tournament
Release: Thursday 05/10/2012 

LA JOLLA, Calif. - In first round action of the 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Baseball Tournament Thursday at Triton Ballpark, host UC San Diego and Chico State were winners and will face each other in Friday's second round. UCSD blanked Sonoma State, 6-0, while CSUC took down Cal State San Bernardino, 7-2, in the tourney's opening game.

Game Two (UCSD 6, Sonoma State 0): The top-seeded Tritons improved to 30-21 overall and will play the No. 2 Wildcats (37-14) at 3 p.m. Friday. The fourth-seeded Seawolves fell to 29-22 and will take on No. 3 Cal State San Bernardino (27-19) in an elimination game at 11 a.m.

"It was a great start for us," said UC San Diego head coach Eric Newman. "We wanted to come out and be aggressive. We talked about this meaning more to us than it does to them because it's our field. I thought our guys really bought into that and really took that to heart."

Freshman Trevor Scott earned the win for the Tritons and improved to 5-5 on the year. The left-hander threw 5.1 innings, striking out eight while giving up three hits and three walks in the shutout.

Sonoma State senior Paul Anaya took the loss and dropped to 3-2 on the year. He gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out four over 3.2 innings of work.

The Tritons' offense was led by catcher Nick La Face, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run.

UCSD wasted little time getting on the board. With first baseman Richard Seigel on second in the bottom of the first inning, La Face drilled an RBI single to shallow center to complete Seigel's trip around the diamond. Seigel had reached base on a double to deep center.

The Tritons did most of their damage in the bottom of the fourth inning. Following a single and double from shortstop Garrett Tuck and La Face, respectively, Tuck scored on outfielder Justin Rahn's RBI groundout. Two batters later, outfielder Scott Liske took advantage of the Seawolves' communication breakdown in shallow center and, with smart baserunning, turned a routine blooper RBI single into a double, scoring La Face from third. Third baseman Sam Michaels drove Liske home in the next at-bat with a powerful RBI double off the left-field wall.

In the top of the fourth, SSU outfielder Steven Filippi stole second to become the Seawolves' first runner in scoring position. But catcher Joel Thys struck out looking to end the threat.

Sonoma had runners on first and second in the fifth with two outs, but a flyout to Liske in right field prevented the Seawolves from ending the shutout.

No SSU player was able to surpass second base until the sixth when a fielder's choice allowed Filippi and outfielder Evan Warner to advance to second and third, respectively. However, a groundout to relief pitcher Richard Kilbury stopped another threat.

Center fielder Danny Susdorf added an insurance run for UCSD in the latter half of the sixth. With Michaels on second after a wild pitch, Susdorf's RBI double down the right-field line brought the Tritons' run total and lead to five. La Face's RBI single to center in the seventh gave the Tritons more padding as Tuck scored from second. Tuck doubled to lead off UCSD's half of the seventh.

The Tritons will have junior right-hander Ryan Goodbrand starting on the mound Friday against the Wildcats. Goodbrand has a stellar 9-0 record this season, posting a 3.28 ERA over 82.1 innings in which he has struck out 58 batters while walking just 16.


Game One (Chico State 7, Cal State San Bernardino 2): Chico State's Kagen Hopkins earned the win to climb to 7-3 overall. Hopkins threw six innings, allowing two runs, five hits and three walks while striking out five. Sean Martin earned the save, his first of the year. Martin pitched three innings, struck out two and gave up a hit.

Cal State San Bernardino's Casey McCarthy (5-5) was credited with the loss. In his 6.1 innings of work, he allowed seven runs, five of which were earned, and gave up nine hits and four walks while striking out five.

"Kagen, you have to give him credit for getting us six-plus [innings]," said Chico State head coach Dave Taylor. "[I] probably should have taken him out. He was at 93 pitches, but you know, he's been our Friday guy, and we're going to ride him as long as we can. He matched up well with them [the Coyotes, earlier in the year] down there, and so we figured he'd match up well today, and he did."

Taylor also said the team gave Hopkins the defense he needed in order to earn the victory.

"I was just really proud of how we played the game," Taylor said. "We played good defense, we executed skills when we needed to and we made pitches. I think that was one of our best games from start to finish, so that's a good start for the weekend."

While the Coyotes were 0-6 with runners in scoring position, it was their three errors which the Wildcats took significant advantage of.

Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh, CSUC had the bases loaded against reliever Josh Lee. A wild pitch allowed Blake Gibbs to score from third and the runners on second and third shifted. The bases were loaded again upon Myles Dempsey's hit-by-pitch. In the next at-bat, Ian McKay singled through the left side of the infield to allow Shane Kroker and Eric Angerer to score from third and second, respectively.

After two-and-a-half scoreless innings of play, the Wildcats broke the tie when McCarthy threw a wild pitch, giving TJ Yasuhara third base. A wild throw from catcher Paul Eshleman allowed Yasuhara to score. Yasuhara, who singled deep down the left-field line, reached second following McCarthy's 2-2 balk while facing Pierson Jeremiah. CSUC extended its lead to 2-0 when Cody Foster, who doubled to left center, scored on Gibbs' RBI single.

The Coyotes, who had at least one player on base in the first five innings, threatened to even the score in the top of the fifth with runners on first and second and only one out, but Hopkins' successful pick-off attempt at second to tag out Mike Newell quelled the Coyotes' surge. The momentum appeared to have a brief rebirth when Jake Pilkerton was hit by Hopkins with a full count, sending Ethan Chapman to second, but Brandon Day's flyout to left field ended the inning.

A second error also proved costly for the Coyotes in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on first and third after an infield throwing error, Matt Anderson hit an RBI single on the ground through the infield gap on the right side to bring Gibbs home. Two batters later with the bases loaded, Ben Manlove walked to force Angerer home while making the score, 4-0.

CSUC's lead was cut in half, 4-2, when Edwin Mendoza, facing a full count, connected on a two-run home run over the left-field wall. It was Mendoza's conference-leading 11th homer on the year.

Sophomore Ryan O'Shea (3-1) will start for the Wildcats Friday. It will be his first start in nearly 10 weeks. O'Shea has a 2.33 ERA with 27 innings of work in which he has struck out 32 opponents. The Coyotes plan to send Cory Caruso (3-4) to the mound against Sonoma State. In 12 games and 82.1 innings this season, Caruso has a 3.39 ERA and has fanned 48 batters.

For complete tournament information, visit the CCAA's Tournament Central page.

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Sunday, May 27
Baseball at Texas A&M Kingsville
12:00 PM
Cary, NC (USA Baseball National Training Complex)
Tuesday, May 29
Baseball at Columbus State/Mercyhurst
Cary, NC (USA Baseball National Training Complex)
Wednesday, May 30
Baseball at NCAA Championship
Cary, NC (USA Baseball National Training Complex)
New Triton Ballpark AD