SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A two out, bases loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Cal State San Bernardino to a 3-2 victory over No. 29 UC San Diego Thursday at Fiscalini Field. It was the first tilt of a four-game series between the league-leading Tritons and second place Coyotes.
UCSD, which had won seven of its last eight games coming in, fell to 24-17 overall and 22-11 in the CCAA. Now winners of seven of its last eight, CSUSB improved to 21-13 on the year and 18-11 in the conference.
UC San Diego was riding high after tying the game up at 2-2 with a two out, unearned run in the top of the ninth. However, Cal State San Bernardino snatched away the elation in the bottom half of the inning. Mike Newell led off with a single to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Following a strikeout and a walk, a fielder's choice put Coyotes on first and third with two outs. The Tritons intentionally walked Darren Dworak to load the bases and set up a force play at any base. Paul Eshleman, who had two hits in the game already, came to the plate and singled through the right side of the infield on a 1-2 pitch, scoring Newell and giving the game to the Coyotes in walk off fashion.
Starting pitcher Casey McCarthy (4-3) tossed a gem for CSUSB, going all nine innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He struck out six Tritons and walked four. San Bernardino out-hit UCSD 10-6 as Dworak, Eshleman and Newell all had multiple hits. The Coyotes stranded 12 runners on base, leaving the bags loaded in the fourth and sixth innings.
For UCSD, Danny Susdorf went 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring a run and stealing a base. Reliever Tony York (2-1) suffered the first loss of his career as he came on in the ninth and gave up the winning run. Starting pitcher Ryan Goodbrand, who entered the day with a 7-0 record, got a no decision as he went 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking three. Elias Tuma and Richard Kilbury held San Bernardino scoreless for 2.1 innings.
"It was a good game, both pitching staffs did a great job," said UCSD head coach Eric Newman. "It was what you would expect from a match-up like this. I'm sure the remaining games will be grind-it-out affairs, so we need to be ready to play every inning."
After four and a half scoreless innings, the Coyotes struck for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Edwin Mendoza cracked a leadoff double down the left field line and was sacrificed to second by Newell. Ethan Chapman knocked in Mendoza with a single through the right side of the infield for the game's first run. Chapman then stole second and took third on a fly ball out. With two away, Brandon Day singled to right, plating Chapman and giving CSUSB a 2-0 lead.
UCSD got a run back in the top of the eighth. Susdorf led off by doubling to left-center on a 2-2 pitch. It was his eighth two-bagger of the season and team-leading 15th extra base hit. He advanced to third on a ground ball out and scored on a wild pitch by McCarthy.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, San Bernardino committed a costly error, the first and only one of the game. An infield throwing miscue not only allowed pinch hitter James Mossholder to reach first, but continue on to second base. McCarthy uncorked his second wild pitch, giving third base to Mossholder, who then scored on a single through the left side by Sam Michaels. The unearned run evened the game up at 2-2.
The Tritons, who won all four games against the Coyotes in 2011, are now 0-10 when scoring two runs or less this season.
UCSD and CSUSB play game two Friday in San Bernardino (3 p.m.) before coming to La Jolla for a noon doubleheader Saturday.
- UCSDtritons.com -