HAYWARD, Calif. - Four UC San Diego baseball players were named to 2014 Daktronics Division II All-West Region teams on Thursday. Troy Cruz, Nick La Face and Erik Lewis all earned spots on the 16-man first team, with Justin Donatella on the 19-player second team.
La Face has now garnered three Daktronics All-West Region selections for his career. He made it onto the second team in 2011 and the first team the following season. The catcher/designated hitter is coming off of his second turn as the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship Most Outstanding Player last week. Cruz, Lewis and Donatella are all first-time all-region honorees.
All four Tritons recognized Thursday were All-CCAA First Team picks exactly one week prior.
A fifth-year senior out of North Hollywood, La Face is at or near the top of the CCAA charts with single-season bests in almost every offensive category. He is batting a team-best .357 with 39 runs, 20 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 47 RBI and 43 walks. La Face is first in the league in doubles (tied), triples, on-base percentage (.498) and walks, second in runs, RBI and slugging (.567), and fifth in average.
Cruz, a local product out of Chula Vista (Bonita Vista HS), is the only Triton to have started all 49 games, with 33 at third base, 12 on the mound and four as the designated hitter. The sophomore dual threat is both hitting .331 at the plate, and maintaining a 2.85 ERA over a team-best 82.0 innings on the hill with a 7-3 record and one seven-inning shutout among four complete games. Cruz leads the Tritons with nine stolen bases, and has added 32 runs, 11 doubles, three triples and 38 RBI.
Lewis is a first-year Triton after spending time at Fullerton College and Long Beach State over his first three seasons of college baseball. He has appeared in all 49 games, with 48 starts at second base, and is atop the CCAA by more than 14 runs scored with 53. Lewis is batting .345 with 35 RBI, and is second in the league with 40 walks and a .481 on-base percentage, behind only La Face in both categories.
In his first season in the rotation, Donatella is 8-2 with a 2.35 ERA over 10 starts and 69.0 innings pitched. The sophomore right-hander has 59 strikeouts, and opponents are hitting just .219 off of him. His eight wins are tied for second in the CCAA. Donatella went 7-1 with a no-decision in his nine CCAA starts as the Tritons’ ace.
As Daktronics West Region first-teamers, Cruz, La Face and Lewis are now eligible to be voted Daktronics All-Americans in the coming weeks.
Fifteenth-ranked CCAA tournament champion UCSD (35-14) takes on CCAA regular-season champion Sonoma State (27-16) in its first game of the 2014 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship West Regional at Triton Ballpark in La Jolla later this evening at 7 p.m. The six-team, double-elimination tournament runs through Sunday or Monday. UCSD is serving as the host for the first time since 2011.