WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Senior catcher/designated hitter Nick La Face of UC San Diego was selected Monday as the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Baseball Player of the Week for the week of March 3-9.
La Face, a native of North Hollywood (Notre Dame HS), continued his hot start to his fifth and final season as a Triton, leading UCSD to a four-game, split-venue CCAA series sweep over Cal State Dominguez Hills. He hit .545 (6-for-11) with eight walks for a .737 on-base percentage and two doubles for a .727 slugging percentage.
La Face started all four games, scored four runs and drove in seven. He knocked in the first Triton run in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader, with a third-inning single in game one and a first-inning double in game two. For that doubleheader, the CCAA leader in on-base percentage (.568) reached base in nine of 10 plate appearances, going 5-for-6 during the sweep with two doubles, four walks, four runs and six RBI. La Face walked and scored what proved to be the winning run in the eighth inning of a wild 9-7 affair to begin the twin bill.
This marks the first weekly conference honor of La Face’s career, and the second for a Triton player in 2014 after Justin Rahn was named on Feb. 3 after the opening weekend.
UCSD (11-6, 8-4 CCAA), its four-game win streak currently the longest in the conference, hosts defending CCAA regular-season champion Cal State Monterey Bay (9-14, 6-10 CCAA) for a four-game series this weekend. The Otters snapped the Tritons’ run of four consecutive regular-season crowns, in fact clinching their first title outright with a 5-3 home win over UCSD on the final day on May 5. The series opener on Friday, March 14, is set for a 6 p.m. start at Triton Ballpark.
The Tritons, who appeared at No. 39 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason poll, are receiving votes just outside the top 30 in the latest edition released earlier Monday. UCSD also moved up from No. 5 to No. 4 in the new National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) West Region Top 10.
Cal State L.A. senior left-hander Ryan Santhon’s first career complete-game shutout (3 H, 1 BB, 11 SO) against Cal Poly Pomona earned him CCAA Pitcher of the Week honors over the Tritons’ sophomore right-hander Justin Donatella, who set a new UCSD program record for the Division II era with 13 strikeouts over a career-long 8.1 shutout frames (3 H, 0 BB) in a 1-0 win against the Toros last Thursday night.