Release: Sunday 05/13/2007 
Courtesy: -

This Week’s Events:

Mon., May 14---TAA Golf Tournament at Fairbanks Ranch CC---12:30 PM

NOTE---NCAA Baseball pairings to be announced

Seeded No. 4 going in and facing three teams ranked in the top nine nationally,  24th-ranked Baseball team knew the CCAA Championship in Los Angeles would be tough...Coach Dan O’Brien’s club was able to knock off No. 5 Cal State L.A. and No. 9 Chico State but had no answers for No. 2 Sonoma State which relegated the Tritons to a second place finish by knocking them off in the tourney opener and its final game.

The hope, however, is that the runner-up slot will be enough to propel UCSD (37-23) into its first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs...The NCAA’s announcement was to be made late Sunday night.

Things might have been different at the CCAA tourney had the Tritons been able to hang onto what looked like a win in their first game...Up, 6-1, after five and a half innings and having knocked Seawolf ace Bryan Oland out of the game, the scenario looked promising...But freshman Daniel Simmons, who was in complete control, striking out 11 in the first five innings, got touched up for three runs in the bottom of the sixth and the bullpen was unable to keep the Seawolves at bay...Still clinging to a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth, UCSD was done-in by a walk-off bases loaded double and suffered a stunning, 7-6 defeat...The Tritons banged out 12 hits, four by DH Matt Cantele, and first baseman Chris Franco pounded a three-run dinger in the first inning.

O’Brien’s crew showed great resiliency, however, bouncing back Friday to stun host Cal State L.A., 7-2, and knock the Golden Eagles out of the tourney...UCSD took the lead for good in the fifth, parlaying three hits and two CSULA errors into three runs...Doubles by Matt Lawson and Cantele were the big blows... Sophomore Trevor Decker put in seven solid innings, giving up just one run while scattering seven hits.

Chico State was next and the Tritons battled from behind twice early and then scored singletons in the eighth and ninth to pull out an 8-6 victory Friday night, eliminating the Wildcats...Cantele drilled his school record 23rd home run, third baseman Jonathan Erickson collected three hits and shortstop Vance Albitz drove in three for UCSD...With the scoreboard reading 6-6, Erickson and Tim Mort opened the eighth with singles...After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Erickson scored the eventual game-winner when Cantele was hit by a pitch with two out...Bryan Silverman tripled and scored an insurance run in the ninth... Junior Nick Rodieck went three and two-thirds out of the bullpen to win his sixth of the year.

There was just not enough gas left in the tank or pitchers left on the roster Saturday as Sonoma State raced past the Tritons, 15-5, for the conference title...Eight UCSD pitchers were nicked for 10 hits, walked eight and hit seven batters...That combined with a pair of errors told the tale...Second baseman Garrett Imeson knocked three of UCSD’s 10 hits and scored twice.

Earlier in the week, seven Tritons garnered All-CCAA honors...Cantele and Lawson achieved first team status...Decker, Imeson, Albitz and senior David Morehead earned second team recognition and reliever Derek Barham was honorable mention...Imeson also gained attention for his classroom work as he was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District squad.

Coach Patti Gerckens’ Softball team, making its first post-season appearance since 2002, clearly demonstrated that it deserved to be playing with the best in the West, but was eliminated in three games at the NCAA Regional in Turlock last weekend...The Tritons concluded their season 35-27, tying the school single season win record set in 2002.

UCSD opened the playoffs in dramatic fashion, nipping Sonoma State, 1-0, on consecutive singles by Amanda Eliades, Dallas Hernandez and Jenny Maze in the bottom of the seventh...They were the Tritons’ first three hits of the game... Fortunately, until the Triton bats woke up, southpaw hurler Melissa Ward was dominating the Seawolves, giving up just three hits and striking out eight, while collecting her 27th win.

In a second round game vs. Cal State Stanislaus that started Friday and ended Saturday morning (13 hrs. later), Ward was again brilliant but this time it was not enough...The contest was called Friday night due to darkness after six scoreless frames...The two clubs pushed it to eight innings without a run but a three-run ninth inning home run by Jessica Scholl lifted the Warriors to a 3-0 victory...Ward went the distance giving up eight hits and fanning seven...The Tritons managed just five hits, two by freshman designated player Eliades.

Lack of offense remained a problem Saturday afternoon as top-seeded Humboldt State, which was literally an inning from going two-and-out earlier in this tourney, topped UCSD, 2-0...Ward was again tough, surrendering just four hits, but a first inning Lumberjack tally and Nancy Harbeson’s fourth inning homer were all Humboldt needed...The Tritons also rapped out four hits, two by freshman catcher Nicole Saari.

Coach Eric Steidlmayer’s ninth-ranked Men’s Tennis team capped its finest season at the NCAA Division II level with a run to the NCAA Semi-finals last week in Altamonte Springs, FL...The Tritons’ title drive was finally curtailed by fifth-ranked Valdosta State (GA) but they ended up 18-7 on the year and tied for third in the national championship tournament.

Last Wednesday, UCSD opened tourney play by crushing No. 32 Northwest Missouri State, 5-0...The good times started in doubles where Eric Rubens/Blake Meister and Kazumi Negishi/Bijan Moallemi posted bookend, 8-2, wins at Nos. 1 and 3...When Steve Oechel/Seth Spector gutted out a 9-8 triumph at No. 2, the rout was on...Rubens at No. 1 and Negishi at No. 6 quickly closed out their singles matches to clinch the outcome and push the Tritons to the round of eight.

There, they met No. 8 Barry (FL) and benefited from a scenario similar to the first round, sweeping doubles with Oechel/Spector again supplying a 9-8 verdict at No. 2...This time, it was Oechel and Negishi producing straight set doubles victories as UCSD prevailed, 5-2.

In the semi-finals, battle-tested Valdosta State turned out to be another story...This time, Negishi/Moallemi secured the only doubles point and the perennially tough Blazers dominated singles play, earning a berth in the championship match and ending UCSD’s season with a 5-1 win.

Coach Pattie Pinkerton’s Women’s Crew team did its work on the water Saturday, now it must wait for the NCAA selection committee to determine whether or not it was enough to earn a berth in the 2007 NCAA Division II Championships, slated for Oak Ridge, TN, May 24...The NCAA field is expected to be announced Tuesday with the top four teams (three regional winners and one at-large selection) earning tickets to Tennessee.

At last Saturday’s Pacific Coast Rowing Championships, the de facto national championship qualifying regatta, the third-ranked Tritons appeared to have done enough to gain a second straight team bid...Both the varsity eight and four finished second to defending NCAA champ and No. 1-ranked Western Washington...After a shaky start, the eight (Monica Switick, Jen Myers, Leah Llach, Anna Simeon, Kali Webb, Megan Hatlen, Kelsey Thomas, Megan Hagquist and coxswain Leslie Sjobom) collared Seattle Pacific and Humboldt State at the 500-meter juncture but were never able to threaten Western, which hit the line with a nine-second advantage...The young varsity four was coxed by Stephanie Chang and manned by Caryn Urbanczyk, Kim Shaffer, Jill Peacock and Alissa Kispersky.

In other action, Sjobom, Thomas, Shaffer and Hagquist, teaming with Katie Harris, were third behind Stanford and Humboldt State in the lightweight four, Sarah Gosling and Kelly Hansen snagged silver in the open pair, Simeon was third in the collegiate single and assistant coach Liz Record won the open single scull...A re-worked Triton lineup was third in the open eight.

What started as a promising Sunday afternoon for the Men’s Crew team turned disappointing and then non-existent yesterday at the ECAC Rowing Championships in Cherry Hill, NU.

Coach Zach Johnson’s varsity eight rowed a great Saturday qualifying race which put it in the upper tier of 12 semi-final boats...Sunday morning’s semi-final, from which three crews would advance to the grand final, produced a three-boat photo finish for second through fourth...After initially being awarded third place, a protest, followed by a 40-minute review resulted in the Tritons being dropped to fourth (0.18 seconds out of third) and into the petite final...Three hours later, they were on their way home without racing at all as 25 mile per hour winds forced the remainder of the event, UCSD’s last of the year, to be canceled...With its lone race scheduled for Sunday, the junior varsity boat had even worse luck, never even hitting the water.

Led by budding star Nathan Phan, the Golf team closed out its 2007 season by  placing sixth at the NCAA Super Regional in Lakewood, CO last week...Coach Mike Wydra’s Tritons put up an 867 (288-291-288) for three rounds over the 6,808-yd., par 71 Fox Hollow layout...Cal State San Bernardino carded the top team score at 841 and five of the top six teams were from the CCAA.

Phan, a sophomore, was ninth in the individual standings with a sterling final round 68 leaving him at 212 for the tourney...He narrowly missed garnering an at-large invitation to the NCAA Championships...Following Phan on the scorecard were Ryan Bailey and Billy Olsen, who tied for 17th at 219, Luke Leveillee (T22nd/220) and Noah Moss (40th/229)...All five Tritons turned in at least one round of even par.

Although Saturday’s “last chance” Track & Field meet at Occidental produced some solid marks (most notably a season best by Madeleine Flint in the pole vault/11-10.5 and lifetime best by Dan Noel in the 400 intermediate hurdles/ 53.68), it didn’t appear to turn out any performances that will change the roster of the team Coach Tony Salerno takes to the NCAA Division II Championship, two weeks from now in Charlotte, NC...The NCAA is expected to announce the 2007 field on Tuesday.

Sophomore middle distance runner Daniel Anderson seems the only solid prospect on the men’s side but Salerno should have a deep and talented corps of women at the national meet...Likely making the trip will be Laiah Blue (100 & 400 hurdles), Whitney Johnson (long and triple jump), Diane Dunn (3,000), Jillian Sola and Sarah Hendy (discus) and Emily McGregor (5,000)...Javelin thrower Torrey Trust is on the edge while Flint and Linda Rainwater (heptathlon & high jump) have longer odds.

For more information on Triton sports, check our website at http://ucsdtritons.com.

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