LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego baseball team topped San Francisco State University, 9-6 and 7-5 in seven innings, to sweep a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) doubleheader at Triton Ballpark on Saturday.
The two wins improved UCSD’s record to 19-16 overall and back above .500 in the CCAA at 14-13. In snapping a three-game losing skid, the Tritons achieved their third straight sweep of a conference doubleheader, all coming at home behind starting pitchers Blake Fassler and Troy Cruz. SF State, which had won Friday night’s series opener, 4-1, fell to 11-24 overall and 8-19 in league play on the day.
UCSD will go for the series victory on Sunday, Apr. 7. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at Triton Ballpark.
Both teams had 11 hits in game one, but the Tritons took advantage of four Gator errors in the field. UCSD scored four in the fourth inning to overturn a 3-1 deficit and added a three-run rally in the sixth to break a 5-5 tie.
Junior third baseman Garrett Tuck, celebrating his 21st birthday, came out of an 0-for-19 stretch with an enormous two-run double to left center in the four-run fourth. That outburst had started with a one-out walk to Nick La Face and an ensuing single by Justin Rahn to set up Dillon Moyer’s RBI single through the left side on a 1-2 pitch. Leftfielder Grady Espinosa may have had a play on La Face at the plate, but his error eliminated that opportunity and instead enabled Rahn and Moyer each to advance an extra base. Sam Michaels’ four-pitch walk led into Tuck’s big knock. Scott Liske picked up Michaels with a fielder’s choice for the 5-3 lead.
The Gators wasted no time in erasing that advantage with a second straight two-run inning in their half of the fifth via two-out rally. Espinosa doubled with two away and came sprinting home as teammate Miguel Flores was narrowly adjudged to be safe at first on an infield ground ball. Two more singles back-to-back on 3-2 offerings from Fassler plated Flores. A wild pitch put two more Gators in scoring position, but Fassler fanned Mark Lindsay to hold the damage at two.
UCSD broke the tie for good in the sixth. With runners at first and second and one away, Danny Susdorf’s 0-2 single to right center put the Tritons back on top. An error having loaded the bases and brought on a pitching change, an RBI fielder’s choice grounder by Richard Seigel and La Face single accounted for the final two tallies for the home side.
In the ninth, senior Triton outfielder James Mossholder made a terrific catch sprinting and sliding toward the fence in foul territory down the right field line for the second out. Two ensuing walks around an RBI triple from Flores brought the tying run to the plate before another flyout got Kolodin his first collegiate save.
Chad Rieser (1-1) earned the win with a scoreless sixth in which he struck out the side, the first two on called third strikes, around a one-out walk. Fellow sophomore Kolodin got the last six outs after Zeman threw a scoreless seventh. Fassler had struck out six over his five frames with five runs allowed on nine hits and one walk.
Susdorf was 2-for-5 with a run, RBI and two stolen bases. Moyer and Michaels added two hits apiece with Moyer and Liske each scoring twice and Tuck driving in two.
Gator reliever Eric Watts (0-2) took the loss. Justin Lamb and A.J. Pianto both wound up with three hits. Flores and Pianto drove in a pair. Espinosa scored three times.
In the nightcap, Cruz ran his scoreless streak to 16.2 innings to begin his collegiate starting pitching career before finally surrendering a two-out, two-run rally in the fifth. The Tritons managed to hang on despite a furious three-run Gator rally in the seventh and final frame.
Susdorf provided a two-out, two-strike single to center field to plate the first two runs of the contest in the home second. Seigel bookended the Triton scoring by lacing a bases-clearing, three-run double into the right field corner with two gone in the seventh. That insurance became vital when SF State struck for three runs in the next half before Kolodin finally shut the door for his second save on the afternoon.
In between, the Tritons struck twice in the third as Dillon Moyer slapped an RBI double off the left field wall and Tuck lifted a team-leading fifth sacrifice fly after Seigel and La Face had opened the half-inning with successive base hits.
Cruz (3-1) was still a winner in his third start in a row, allowing the two runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two. The local product from Chula Vista gave up three singles and a walk over the first two innings but was aided by sophomore catcher Brett Levy throwing out two runners attempting to steal.
Seigel dove in the hole on the leadoff batter and flipped to Cruz covering the bag in the first. With two men on in the second, Seigel gloved a hard-hit ball toward his line, but slipped on his way up to leave another flip to Cruz as his only option, but narrowly beating the runner nonetheless to end the threat. Not to be outdone, Tuck stayed low to make a couple of solid stops and came up throwing strong across the diamond for the first two outs in the fifth.
Seigel turned in a 2-for-3 effort at the plate with his triple, a walk and three RBI. Susdorf was 1-for-3 with a walk, run and two RBI.
SF State starter Zack Malik (2-5) was pinned with the loss. Espinosa was 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and an RBI. Flores was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
Triton Notes: Nick La Face has started 92 straight games … Richard Seigel has started 72 games in a row … Seigel’s game-two triple was his third on the year, tying him with Danny Susdorf for the team lead … Susdorf’s two stolen bases in game one gave him a league-best 21 on 25 tries … Scott Liske’s game-one stolen base was his first of 2013 … Freshman Gradeigh Sanchez turned in his first collegiate steal in the sixth inning of the second game … With a double in each game today, Dillon Moyer is No. 2 on the team with a dozen two-baggers… UCSD previously this season swept doubleheaders at Triton Ballpark against Cal State L.A. (Mar. 16) and Cal State East Bay (Mar. 29).
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