STOCKTON, Calif. - The No. 7 UC San Diego baseball team defeated Cal Poly Pomona, 9-2, Saturday night at Klein Family Field to capture its third straight California Collegiate Athletic Associaton (CCAA) Tournament championship. The win also gave the Tritons an automatic berth into the NCAA postseason.
The qualifying 48 teams, as well as game sites for the NCAA Regionals, will be announced on Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m. (PT). UCSD, ranked first in the West, should be a lock to host the four-team West Regional at Triton Ballpark May 19-23. A selection show will run live at ncaa.com.
UCSD entered the day with a 2-0 tourney record and needed one win against Cal Poly Pomona, which was 2-1, for the title. However, the Broncos defeated the Tritons 14-12 in the first game of the day to force the second championship game. UCSD fell behind 2-0 in the first inning, but tallied three runs in the third that put them ahead for good.
As in the day's first game, Cal Poly Pomona took an early lead in the first inning. Starter Greg Selarz retired the first two batters before Travis Taijeron doubled and Chris Miller followed with a home run to left, putting the Broncos up 2-0.
The Tritons, as they did in the first inning, put another man on base, but failed to advance him. Pomona also had a runner on with two outs, but catcher Kellen Lee picked him off first to end the inning.
UCSD took the lead with three runs in the third. With one out, Danny Susdorf doubled on an 0-2 pitch from starter Casey Yokubaitis. Aaron Bauman was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. Yokubaitis struck out Nick La Face for the second out and Susdorf stole third. A Blake Tagmyer double to left-center plated both Susdorf and Bauman and Tagmyer came around to score on a single by Kyle Saul.
Selarz took charge in the bottom of the third, sitting down the Broncos in order with a fly out and two strikeouts.
Lee got himself in scoring position in the fourth, reaching first on an infield error, moving to second on a ground out and taking third on a fly out to right. He crossed the plate for an unearned run when Yokubaitis uncorked a wild pitch that made it all the way to the backstop. The senior righty continued to damage his cause, walking Susdorf and giving him second base by throwing away a pickoff attempt. Bauman made it hurt as he went opposite down the left field line for an RBI double, putting the Tritons up 5-2. Bauman kept Yokubaitis on edge, taking large, dancing leads at second base. He had La Face 0-2, but lost him when he singled to left on a 2-2 offering, scoring Bauman. La Face scored from first when Tagmyer hit a ball to the warning track in right. Jordan Whitman left his feet and appeared to make the catch, but the ball popped out of his glove, allowing the fourth unearned run of the inning to cross. It was scored an error, the fourth of the night for the Broncos. CPP finally got out of the inning when Saul flew out to shallow center, but not before the Tritons had upped their lead to 7-2.
Miller drew a leadoff walk from Selarz to start the bottom of the fourth. Selarz struck out Tyson Edwards on three pitches and then got Stephen Gonzalez to fly out to deep center. Miller took second on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Humberto Tovalin, who had three hits in the first game. With a full count, Tovalin fouled one back and broke the shaft of his metal bat. He swung his new stick right through an off speed pitch to put the inning in the book.
Yokubaitis regained some composure in the top of the fifth, going 1-2-3 for the first time on an infield pop up, a strikeout and a grounder to second.
Selarz retired the first two Broncos he faced in the bottom half before hitting Whitman with a pitch. No harm done as Ryan Goodman flew out to Bauman in left.
Garrett Tuck singled to lead off the sixth, prompting CPP to go to the bullpen for left-hander Shane Philipps. Right off the bat, Philipps had to deal with the white-hot Susdorf. He was up to the challenge, taking Susdorf to 1-2 before rolling a fielder's choice to short with Tuck forced out at second. Bauman singled through the right side, moving Susdorf up 90 feet to second. On a called strike to La Face, catcher Mike Neff threw out Susdorf when he attempted to steal third for the second out. Bauman moved to second on the play and scored UCSD's eighth run when La Face singled to center. Tagmyer went down swinging for the third out.
Selarz came out and threw two warm-up pitches in the dirt a couple of feet in front of the plate. However, he then brushed a couple of nice strokes on the dish for called strikes before Taijeron swung through, giving Selarz his fifth K of the game. Miller hit a come-backer right to Selarz, who threw to first for the second out. Edwards dropped in a solid single to left and took third when Gonzalez put a 3-2 pitch through the left side. Selarz got himself out of trouble, fanning Tovalin to send the game to the seventh inning.
Saul took a leadoff walk and stole second. Saul broke from second as Kehoe popped up to short and was hung out to dry with no way to make it back before Goodman stepped on the bag. A ground ball to third ended the half inning.
The bottom section saw Selarz mow down the Broncos in order for the second time with two ground outs and a fly ball to right.
Susdorf had a hit in the eighth, but was left stranded.
Goodman led off by sharply driving a ball to left. Bauman took a perfect route to cut it off before it went through the gap to hold him to a single. Taijeron followed with a four-pitch walk, which ended Selarz' night. Elias Tuma took the bump and wasted no time getting a pair of outs when Miller grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. He then won a nine-pitch battle against Edwards, striking him out swinging to keep the Broncos scoreless in the inning.
Selarz scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked two en route to improving to 4-1. It was the first start for the Los Angeles native since Apr. 2 against Cal State
L.A. Since that outing, he had thrown just 3.1 innings in four relief
The Tritons tacked on another run in the ninth to go up 9-2 as they loaded the bases with one out on a Tagmyer double, a hit batter and an infield single. Tagmyer scored on a single to left by Lee. Hubbard struck out on a called third strike for out number two. Right-handed K.C. Rentfro was called on to pinch hit for Tuck. Cal Poly Pomona removed left-handed reliever John Pollock from the game and put in righty Allen Rodarte, who started the game at second base. Rodarte got Rentfro to line out to first.
It only took Tuma three pitches to record the first two outs in the final half of the ninth as Gonzalez and pinch hitter Joseph Eusebio grounded out. Neff flew out to Bauman in left to close out the game and the tournament.
The Tritons out-hit the Broncos 14-7 and Cal Poly Pomona didn't help itself with its sloppy defense, committing four errors in the field.
All three of Tagmyer's hits were doubles as he finished with two runs and three RBI. La Face also had three hits while adding a run and two RBI.
For the Broncos, Edwards was the lone player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4. Yokubaitis fell to 2-4 with the loss. He gave up seven runs (three earned) on eight hits through five innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Lee, Selarz, Susdorf, Tagmyer and Tim Shibuya, Thursday's starting pitcher, were all named to the All-Tournament Team. Tagmyer walked away with tournament Most Outstanding Player honors as he hit .556 with four runs scored, 12 RBI, three doubles and a home run. He slugged .889 with a .619 on-base percentage over the four tourney games.
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