KEIZER, Ore. - A late comeback fell just short as the UC San Diego baseball team's season came to an end with a 6-4 loss against Dixie State Saturday in NCAA Division II West Regional action at Volcanoes Stadium.
Down 6-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, 27th-ranked UC San Diego rallied for four runs but would not be able to tack any more on the scoreboard the rest of the way. The Tritons held a 13-9 advantage in hits, but stranded 12 runners on base to Dixie State's five.
UCSD, the third seed at the regional, finished its impressive season with a 33-24 overall record. Second-seeded Dixie State improved to 34-19 and will play in the West Regional title game against Chico State, the fourth seed, Saturday evening.
Triton center fielder Danny Susdorf went 3-for-4 with a run, a double and two RBI. Second baseman Spencer Frazier was 3-for-3 with a run scored and a double, while first baseman Richard Seigel was 3-for-4 with a RBI.
Starting pitcher Greg Selarz (5-6) took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits over 5.1 innings. He struck out one and walked one. Relief pitcher Elias Tuma came on in the sixth inning, marking his 82nd career appearance, breaking the UCSD record.
For DSC, left fielder Jordan Hanley and center fielder Garrett Nash were both 2-for-4 at the plate. Hanley scored two runs and Nash drove in two runs. Catcher Joe Andrade smacked a two-run home run, his fifth of the season.
Bryce Anderson (5-3) turned in a quality start for the Red Storm, surrendering two runs on 11 hits over seven full innings. He struck out one and walked three. Daniel Zapata registered his ninth save.
The game remained scoreless through four innings until Dixie State struck for two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and three more in the seventh to go up 6-0. Andrade's homer accounted for both scores in the fifth, while Hanley scored on a fielder's choice in the sixth. All three Red Storm runs in the seventh came with two outs. Shortstop Ammon Zitting doubled in one and two more crossed when Nash doubled to left-center.
The Tritons quickly loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth on a walk and two hit by pitches. Susdorf ripped a two-run single to center field. With runners at first and second, Seigel singled up the middle, scoring Frazier and advancing Susdorf to third. A double play ball allowed Susdorf to come home, cutting the Red Storm lead to two runs at 6-4. However, the next batter struck out and UCSD went down in order in the ninth to end the game.
Nine of the 12 runners that UCSD left on base were in the first four innings. Over three games at the regional, the Tritons stranded 32 runners.
UCSD, making its sixth consecutive appearance in the West Regional, went 1-2 with a win over host and top seed Western Oregon and a pair of losses against Dixie State. Since the program moved to NCAA Division II status for the 2001 season, the Tritons are 10-9 (.526) in regional games.
Several Tritons turned in stellar performances at this year's tourney. Frazier hit .600 (6-for-10) with four runs scored, two doubles, an .800 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base percentage. Susdorf batted .538 (7-for-13) and added three runs, a double and six RBI. He reached base safely 60% of the time. Seigel went .455 (5-for-11) with two runs, a double, two RBI, four walks and a .600 on-base percentage. Shortstop Garrett Tuck totaled five RBI while outfielder Scott Liske and third baseman Sam Michaels each scored three times.
Dixie State, 2-1 in regional play this season, will need to defeat Chico State twice to win the West and advance to the NCAA Championships in Cary, N.C. The Wildcats enter the title game with a 2-0 mark in the double elimination tournament.
West Regional All-Tournament Team
C - Kyle Blackwell, WOU
1B - Richard Seigel, UCSD
2B - Pierson Jeremiah, Chico State
3B - Shane Kroker, Chico State
SS - Garrett Tuck, UCSD
OF - Danny Susdorf, UCSD
OF - Jordan Hanley, Dixie State
OF - Ian McKay, Chico State
UT - Myles Dempsey, Chico State
P - Sean Martin, Chico State
P - Sam Friend, Dixie State
MVP - Myles Dempsey, Chico State
- UCSDtritons.com -