LA JOLLA, Calif. - Pinch hitter James Mossholder's RBI single sparked a three-run eighth inning to lead UC San Diego to a 6-4 victory over Sonoma State Saturday at Triton Ballpark. The win moved the Tritons into first place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
UCSD upped its season record to 21-15 and its CCAA mark to 19-9, allowing it to overtake Sonoma State (18-14, 16-8) for first place in the league. The win also gave the Tritons their first series sweep of the season. UCSD has now won 14 of its last 17 games.
With the game tied 3-3 through seven and a half innings, shortstop Garrett Tuck led off the Tritons' half of the eighth with a solid single to left field. Following an out, UCSD put the hit and run on with left fielder Justin Rahn at the plate. Rahn singled to right and Tuck motored all the way around to third. Mossholder came on to hit for catcher Brett Levy and took a 3-2 pitch through the left side of the infield to plate Tuck, putting the Tritons up for good at 4-3. UCSD loaded the bases as third baseman Sam Michaels was hit by a pitch. In the next at-bat right fielder Scott Liske walked to pick up an RBI as Rahn scored the eventual game-winning run. Mossholder gave the Tritons a 6-3 lead when he scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Seawolves did not go down quietly in the top of the ninth as designated hitter Devon Zenn led off with a single against UCSD reliever Tony York. First baseman Garrett Gooselaw then hit a ground ball to the left of second base that was misplayed, allowing both Seawolves to remain on the basepaths. The next batter popped up for the first out before catcher Joel Thys singled to center to plate Zenn, making the score 6-4 in favor of the Tritons. However, York retired the next two batters, striking out the first and getting the second to ground out to shortstop to end the game with two runners stranded on base.
UC San Diego spread the wealth through its offense as eight of nine players in the starting lineup had at least one hit or one run scored. Six different Tritons crossed the plate and nine different players accounted for the team's nine hits. Second baseman Spencer Frazier, designated hitter Nick La Face and center fielder Danny Susdorf joined Liske and Mossholder with one RBI apiece.
Sonoma State also totaled nine hits, four of those doubles, with left fielder Danny Dworkin, Thys and Zenn each going 2-for-4. Thys drove in three runs.
Reliever Richard Kilbury (2-0) earned his second win in as many days, throwing a scoreless eighth inning. Paul Anaya (2-1), SSU's second pitcher, took the loss as he gave up the three runs in the eighth.
It was York's eighth save of the season and fourth in his last four outings. His total is tied for the third most in a single season in program history.
Both starting pitchers ended up with a no decision. Triton Greg Selarz went seven full innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out three and walking one. For the Seawolves, Harmen Sidhu also surrendered three runs and six hits, but over six innings. He struck out five and walked a pair.
The Tritons took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Susdorf singled, stole second and scored on a single by La Face. The Seawovles quickly erased the lead with two runs in the top of the second, but UCSD came right back with a pair in the bottom half. Michaels led off with a single and Liske followed with a double. Both would later score on ground ball outs by Frazier and Susdorf. SSU tied the game at 3-3 with a single run in the fourth inning.
The last time the Tritons swept a series was in 2011 when they downed league opponent Cal State San Bernardino in four straight to close out the regular season. UCSD last won a four-game set vs. Sonoma State in 2010.
Up next, UCSD will play a home-and-home CCAA series against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Games one and two will take place on Thursday, Apr. 12 and Friday, Apr. 13 at Triton Ballpark, both at 6 p.m. The final two contests will be played in Carson as a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 14, with the first game starting at noon.
- UCSDtritons.com -