Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Senior Christopher Schasteen returns for his second season in the Triton outfield.

No. 14 UC San Diego Ready for Exhibition Season; Trio of Home Dates Starting Saturday

UC San Diego

THE SCHEDULE
Exhibition 1
vs. Hope International
Saturday, Jan. 19 • 2 p.m.
Triton Ballpark • La Jolla
Live Stats

Exhibition 2
vs. San Diego Christian
Tuesday, Jan. 22 • 6 p.m.
Triton Ballpark • La Jolla
Live Stats

Scrimmage
vs. Alumni
Friday, Jan. 25 • 6 p.m.
Triton Ballpark • La Jolla

The 14th-ranked University of California San Diego baseball program faces a pair of exhibitions and its annual alumni game over the next 10 days, in preparation for its 2019 opener. All three contests are at home at Triton Ballpark in La Jolla. For the two exhibition dates, returning to the UC San Diego campus for a third preseason in a row are Hope International University and area foe San Diego Christian College, both members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). The Tritons will first host the HIU Royals, of Fullerton, this Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. The San Diego Christian Hawks then arrive for a primetime affair on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. The alumni game is Friday night, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. Admission on East Campus is free, though parking permits are required on weeknights. Live stats will be available for the two exhibitions. There will be no live video coverage until the regular season begins.

Of several national polls in existence for NCAA Division II baseball, the preseason edition of the main one was released on Dec. 19, with eighth-year head coach Eric Newman's Tritons ranked No. 14 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Perfect Game have yet to unveil their prognostications.

UC San Diego has dropped back-to-back meetings with Hope International, 5-4 in 2017 and 8-7 a season ago, but advanced all the way to Grand Prairie, Texas, and Cary, N.C., respectively, as now the two-time defending West Region champion. The Royals are heading into their fourth year back as a program after a lengthy hiatus. The 2018 campaign saw them finish 28-26 overall and 17-19 in GSAC play, good for fourth place. HIU went 35-18 overall and 20-10 in the GSAC in 2017, winning the GSAC regular-season title ahead of a runner-up effort at the GSAC tournament. The Royals ultimately made it to the NAIA World Series. Erich Pfohl is the fourth-year head coach. Like Newman for the NCAA Division II West Region, Pfohl was an American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Regional Coach of the Year honoree for 2017.

The Hawks, based in Santee, were 16-33-1 overall and 10-26 in the GSAC in 2018, placing last in the eight-team league. Brian Schroeder is beginning his third year in charge. UC San Diego and SDCC have met in exhibition action in four of the past five preseasons, always in La Jolla, with the Tritons winning last year (8-1), in 2017 (7-5), twice in 2016 (8-6 and 10-1), and in 2014 (4-0).

UC San Diego went 43-17 overall and 30-14 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) a year ago, tying for first in the regular-season race and qualifying for a fifth consecutive CCAA Championship. The Tritons then posted a program-record nine-game postseason win streak in sweeping to a record seventh CCAA tournament banner and West Region title defense. In a first trip to Cary since back-to-back visits in 2009 and 2010, they went 1-2.

Following the alumni game under Friday night lights on Jan. 25, the program holds its annual golf tournament fundraiser the next day, with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. back in Coronado. More information and registration can be accessed here.

The Tritons make the short trip north to begin the new campaign on the road in Irvine on Friday, Feb. 1, at Concordia, with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. Opening Day at Triton Ballpark that Sunday, Feb. 3, against those same Eagles, is set for an 11 a.m. start.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Baseball, follow on Twitter (@UCSDbsb) and Instagram (@ucsd_baseball). Head coach Eric Newman is also on Twitter (@CoachEricNewman).

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