SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The 20th-ranked UC San Diego baseball team produced nine runs for the second straight day and held off a ninth-inning rally to get past Cal State San Bernardino, 9-6, in game two of a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) series Friday afternoon on Senior Day at Fiscalini Field.
With a fifth win in a row, UCSD moved to 31-13 overall and 25-9 in the CCAA. The Tritons remain in third in the league standings, still with a chance to grab a share of the regular-season crown at the conclusion of the weekend. Sixth-ranked Chico State edged Sonoma State, 4-3, in that series opener in Rohnert Park on Friday afternoon, with the Wildcats moving above the Seawolves and back into first. UCSD needs to complete the sweep of the Coyotes Saturday, and hope for a split between Chico State and Sonoma State. CSUSB, now a loser of seven in a row, dropped to 12-36 overall and 10-28 in league play.
The teams traded two runs apiece in the opening frame before the Tritons gained some separation with a three-run third. Another three-run frame in the seventh extended the advantage to 8-3. The Coyotes pulled to within three with three in the ninth, and in fact out-hit UCSD for the game, 12-11.
Junior left-hander Trevor Scott (7-2) allowed three runs on eight hits without a walk over 7.0 innings, striking out six. He retired the side in order in the second with a popout and two strikeouts, the fourth with two groundouts and a strikeout, and the seventh. Scott also benefited from a pair of double plays to end the third and the sixth. In the latter frame, runners were at the corners when Scott fanned Miller and induced a 6-4-3 twin killing. With the tying run coming to the plate in the last half, Dan Kolodin came on to register the final out on a fly ball for his second save.
Troy Cruz, Justin Rahn and Garrett Tuck had two hits apiece for UCSD. Rahn was 2-for-4 with a double, walk, two runs scored and two RBI. Nick La Face went 1-for-4 with his league-best 18th double, league-leading 40th walk, two runs and one RBI.
“I thought Trevor (Scott) was outstanding today,” said third-year UCSD head coach Eric Newman of his starting pitcher. “He pitched around some tough luck and really executed well. Offensively, we were good in spurts and I liked how we started the game the first three innings. Justin Rahn really stepped up with some quality at-bats for us.”
Junior second baseman Erik Lewis took the first pitch of the contest and drove it to right for a double, eventually scoring on an RBI single by Rahn. With the bases full, Brett Levy’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
After the home side pulled even right away on a two-out, two-run single by Remington Miller, the Tritons took the lead for good in the third. The rally began as many do, with walks, to Rahn and Michael Mann. An infield error with the bases loaded allowed two runs to come across. Brandon Shirley’s two-out single chased in the third run for 5-2.
A leadoff Cruz single preceded a double into the gap in right center by La Face to begin the seventh. Rahn made it back-to-back RBI doubles by pulling an 0-2 offering to right and winding up at third. Mann followed with his team-best seventh sacrifice fly on the next pitch. A two-out RBI double by Cruz rounded out the UCSD scoring in the eighth.
Kerry Kelley (4-7) took the loss for CSUSB. William Ouellette provided four hits.
This series between UCSD and Cal State San Bernardino now shifts south to La Jolla for a Senior Day doubleheader at Triton Ballpark Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. In between games of the twin bill, seven Triton seniors will be recognized for their career contributions.
Triton Notes: Troy Cruz is the only Triton to start all 44 games, with 10 coming on the mound ... Trevor Scott drew his 10th start of the year and 26th of his career ... Brandon Shirley swiped two bases in a single game for the first time in his college career ... The Tritons improved to 23-3 when tallying at least six runs in a game, and are now 16-4 in CCAA road contests in 2014.