KEIZER, Ore. - Ryan Goodbrand tossed his second complete game of the season and the UC San Diego offense erupted for 15 hits as the Tritons staved off elimination with an 11-1 win over Western Oregon in NCAA Division II Baseball West Regional action Friday at Volcanoes Stadium.
No. 27 UCSD (33-23) will now face Dixie State on Saturday at 1 p.m. in another elimination contest. Host Western Oregon (40-11), ranked 11th in the nation, was ousted from the double elimination tourney with the loss.
Goodbrand was brilliant, allowing just the one run and scattering five hits while striking out six and walking none. The junior transfer retired the Wolves in order in the first, fifth, seventh and eighth innings. The win pushed his record to 11-0, tying him with three other players for second place on the school's single season victories list.
"It was a fun day, I knew I just needed to try and get my hitters in the dugout and keep them in the game," said Goodbrand. "My pitch count was pretty high, but my defense was making good plays."
"Honestly I think that game two is more important than game one in this format," said UCSD head coach Eric Newman when asked about starting his ace in the tournament's second game. "You're either going to put your number one in a position to put you into the championship game or you've got your back against the wall and you're going to be fighting for your life, and, in that situation, I want my best pitcher out there."
The Triton offense provided plenty of support as UCSD plated five runs in both the second and seventh innings with a single run in the third. WOU was held scoreless until the top of the sixth inning. All 12 runs in the game were scored with two outs.
Five players had multiple hits for UC San Diego, including center fielder Danny Susdorf, who went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. Shortstop Garrett Tuck also drove in four runs, while first baseman Richard Seigel was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs, an RBI, a double and two walks. Second baseman Spencer Frazier and right fielder Scott Liske each scored twice. Catcher Brett Levy had two sacrifice bunts with both runners eventually coming around to score.
Western Oregon starter Kirk Lind (7-3) surrendered six runs on six hits over just 2.2 innings. He walked four Tritons, struck out two and had a wild pitch. Lind, who entered the game having hit just four batters all season, hit two Tritons. Relievers AJ Burke and Gary Steindorf kept UCSD scoreless over 3.2 innings, but Jason Wilson allowed five more runs on six hits in 1.2 innings.
At the plate, first baseman Bo Folkinga went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double for the Wolves. Left fielder Matt Nylen also doubled.
UCSD plated all the runs it would need in the bottom of the second inning. The Tritons loaded the bases for the first time as left fielder Justin Rahn had a leadoff single and Liske and Frazier were both hit by pitches. Susdorf drove in two runs with a single to left and UCSD filled the bags again when Seigel drew a walk. A single through the left side by Tuck scored two more runs and another walk, this time to designated hitter Nick La Face, kept the bases juiced. At the plate for the second time in the inning, Rahn picked up an RBI when he walked, forcing Seigel in from third base.
"It's great, it helped me relax [the five early runs]," said Goodbrand. "I still pitched competitively, but it allowed me to be a little more aggressive with that kind of a lead. With a tied game, I try to throw perfect pitches every time, but with that lead it gives me a little room."
The Tritons took a 6-0 lead in the third. Liske led off with a bunt single, was sacrificed to second by third baseman Sam Michaels and bunted over to third by Frazier. A Susdorf single to right brought Liske in.
With one out in the sixth, Nylen doubled to left field and scored two batters later when Folkinga singled to right-center, giving Western Oregon its lone run of the afternoon.
UCSD left no doubt by adding five more runs on six hits in the seventh inning. Michaels, Susdorf and Seigel each drove in one, while Tuck had another two-run single.
The damage could have been worse, but the Tritons ended up leaving 10 runners on base in the game.
"We just go out there and play and have a lot of faith in our pitching staff," said Newman. "Ryan sure gave us a good feeling today and I feel we can compete with anybody."
The two teams had met four times already this season with Western Oregon winning three of those tilts at Triton Ballpark in early February.
Saturday's game against Dixie State, which fell 5-1 against Chico State in Friday's late game, will be covered by live stats. The winner will take on Chico State in the West Region title game at 5 p.m. Saturday. The loser goes home. UCSD and DSC played in Thursday's opening round with the Red Storm taking a 7-3 victory.
- UCSDtritons.com -