LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego baseball team held its first official practice ahead of the 2013 season at Triton Ballpark on Monday, Jan. 7.
The Tritons, with 37 student-athletes on the current roster, gathered at 2 p.m. under the direction of second-year head coach Eric Newman and his staff. After Sunday's rainy weather, the position players began their afternoon by training at the turf facility behind the ballpark, while the UCSD arms met with pitching coach Rob Avila and long-tossed on the game field.
The UCSD hitters later went through a regular batting practice, breaking up into three groups, to include batting cages and a bunting station.
UCSD is coming off of a 2012 in which it posted a 33-24 overall record and earned automatic qualification into the NCAA West Regional. The Tritons enter 2013 as four-time defending California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular-season and tournament champions, with their sights set on a first return trip to Cary, N.C., since 2010 for the NCAA Division II Championship.
To help them do so, the Tritons return nine of their top 10 hitters from a year ago, including senior All-American Danny Susdorf and junior standouts Nick La Face and Garrett Tuck, as well as starting pitchers Ryan Goodbrand and Trevor Scott and bullpen ace Richard Kilbury. Goodbrand, a senior right-hander, posted an incredible 11-0 record over 15 starts in his Triton debut.
Two of four national baseball polls for the NCAA Division II have released their preseason editions over the past few weeks. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper listed UCSD at No. 23 in its ranking back on Dec. 20. (Click here.) In its top-25 rundown completed on Jan. 4, D2 Baseball News had the Tritons at No. 17. (Click here.) College Baseball Lineup and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) will release their preseason polls in the coming days.
UCSD hosts three exhibition games this month, against Concordia-Irvine on Monday, Jan. 21, Cal State San Marcos on Friday, Jan. 25, and Vanguard on Tuesday, Jan. 29. All three contests at Triton Ballpark will feature free admission and be played underneath the lights beginning at 6 p.m. Live statistics will be available for those unable to attend.
The Tritons open their 2013 campaign in earnest in primetime on Friday night, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m., welcoming in No. 20/16 Colorado Mesa to kick off a three-game non-conference set. The Mavericks went 39-16 a year ago and had their season ended at the NCAA Central Regional. All home contests inside Triton Ballpark this year will again have live streaming video and live statistics available free of charge. Fans can also follow UCSD all season long on Twitter @UCSDtritons.
-- UCSDtritons.com --