The 24th-ranked UC San Diego baseball program begins the 2017 campaign this Friday, Feb. 3, hosting Concordia University of Portland, Ore., for the first of a four-game non-conference series. First pitch at Triton Ballpark is slated for 3 p.m. after Opening Day introductions. Head coach Eric Newman has announced sophomore left-hander Preston Mott (2-3, 4.08 ERA in 2016) as his starter. The teams resume their set with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 4. Both ends of the twin bill are scheduled for the regulation nine innings. The series concludes with a single finale now an hour earlier, at 11 a.m., on Super Bowl Sunday. The Tritons went 22-9 in La Jolla in 2016.
ADMISSION POLICIES FOR TRITON BALLPARK
General admission tickets to all regular-season home games at Triton Ballpark are $5. UCSD students are admitted FREE with valid identification. Dogs and other pets are not allowed, nor are coolers. UCSD Concessions is on site for all home contests.
Parking on the UCSD campus is free on weekends, but a permit is required for weekday contests. They can be purchased at the machine near the entrance to the Triton Ballpark parking lot. Please be aware of the danger of foul balls to your vehicle when parking. Overflow parking is available in the lots beyond the right field wall, still along Voigt Drive.
UCSD home games at Triton Ballpark feature live online video at our streaming portal, UCSDtritons.tv. Audio commentary is provided again this year by former Triton pitcher (2007-08) Tim Strombel (@Timmy2Sides). On Saturday, only the first game of the doubleheader will have commentary. Some road contests also have video and/or audio. All games have live stats. Fans can access live coverage from the Schedule/Results page, or by clicking on the links above. Starting lineups, live between-inning updates and other in-game news and notes can be found by following Triton Baseball all season long on the UCSD Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons). Also be sure to follow the team @UCSDbsb. Finally, check out the CCAA live scoreboard here to keep up on results around the league.
TRITON BASEBALL ON UCSDTRITONS.TV
UC San Diego Athletics and local technology giant ViaSat once again in 2017 bring you Triton Baseball on UCSDtritons.tv, an online streaming platform. All broadcasts are in high definition, and can be viewed from smartphones and tablets. UCSD alum and former pitcher (2007-08) Tim Strombel (@Timmy2Sides) serves as the primary play-by-play voice. Viewing is subscription-based, though it is free from UCSD campus IP addresses. A package that gives viewers access to all streamed events through the 2016-17 academic year is available for $34.99. A single-day option can be purchased for $5.99, meaning doubleheaders are two-for-one. The channel also carries all Triton home basketball and volleyball contests, a majority of soccer, softball and water polo games, and a variety of other home events featuring virtually every one of UCSD's 23 intercollegiate sports at least once. Events are archived.
Triton Ballpark on East Campus at UCSD was given a brand-new look outside the foul lines in 2015. Some of the main features of the extensive renovation included a permanent grandstand to seat just over 500, a press box, new sunken dugouts, an area for food trucks, and restrooms, among several other amenities. Read details here. Perhaps most significant is the Marye Anne Fox Clubhouse down the right field line, which was introduced to the players on March 17, 2015. The official Triton Ballpark re-opening and clubhouse dedication took place on April 10, 2015. View photo galleries from the ballpark construction, Opening Day and dedication.
UCSD was at No. 24 in the preseason edition of Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Division II top-40 poll (Dec. 21). The Tritons do not appear in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Perfect Game preseason polls. D2 Baseball News unveils its national prognostications on Friday. Regionally speaking, UCSD is listed No. 4 in the West by D2 Baseball News (Jan. 26) and No. 7 by the NCBWA.
|Tritons in National Polls|
|Collegiate Baseball Newspaper||No. 24||Dec. 21||Poll|
|D2 Baseball News||N/A||Feb. 3||Poll|
|Perfect Game||NR||Jan. 26||Poll|
UCSD placed second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in 2016 behind now-two-time reigning West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona (26-11) with a league record of 20-17, qualifying for a third consecutive CCAA Championship. The fourth-seeded Tritons had a 31-21 overall record following a 1-2 showing in Stockton.
UCSD's 40-player 2017 roster features 21 letterwinners, five returning redshirts and 14 newcomers. The Tritons return all but two primary position player starters and all but one starter on the mound. Among those back are fourth-year starters Jack Larsen in the outfield and Tyler Howsley at shortstop. Larsen is a two-time All-CCAA First Team selection who added NCBWA All-West Region honorable mention as a junior, while Howsley, with 109 straight starts at shortstop dating back to the 2015 opener, has a pair of All-CCAA honorable mentions. Joining them are the likes of senior infielder JD Hearn, veteran outfielders Brandon Shirley and Christian Leung, catcher Steven Coe (Valley Center/Valley Center HS), Justin Flatt, Tyler Durna and Tim White.
Entering his sixth season in charge, Eric Newman welcomes back a large bulk of a pitching staff that saw 35 of 52 starts made by true freshmen in 2016. All are in the stable with a full year of college baseball under their belts, that group being made up of Brent Bell, Jonah Dipoto, Kyle Lucke, Kyle Mora and Preston Mott. Bullpen options are Jack Rupe, Jr. (San Marcos/Mission Hills HS), Erik Amundson, Cameron Kurz (Encinitas/La Costa Canyon HS) and Tim Nelson.
UCSD should be bolstered by the fifth-year return of Troy Cruz (Chula Vista/Bonita Vista HS), a 2014 All-American and three-time All-CCAA selection in a dual role as a pitcher and hitter who was only able to make three appearances in 2016 before being shut down due to injury.
There is plenty of excitement for a group of transfers which includes Keenan Brigman (Pacific), Alex Eliopulos (La Jolla/San Diego Mesa College/La Jolla HS), Kyle Goodbrand (Irvine Valley College), Jesse Moore (Edmonds CC), Adrian Orozco (Chula Vista/San Diego State/Otay Ranch HS) and J.T. Williams (Mt. Hood CC). Orozco is a former two-year Triton reliever (2013-14) who spent the past two seasons at Southwestern College and San Diego State.
UCSD's 2017 schedule consists of 50 regular-season games, including 29 at home within the friendly confines of Triton Ballpark. After contesting 10 of 12 non-conference dates in La Jolla, the Tritons start league play with a split-venue, four-game set against crosstown rival Cal State San Marcos in La Jolla on Friday night, Feb. 24. UCSD hosts defending CCAA tournament champion and league favorite Chico State in a three-gamer, April 8-9. The Tritons then face two-time reigning region champion and CCAA South favorite Cal Poly Pomona in another split-venue, four-game series, April 13-15. The CCAA Championship will be held in the neutral-site city of Stockton for the fifth year in a row, returning to Banner Island Ballpark of the minor-league Stockton Ports, May 10-13. UCSD has earned three successive trips.
YOUNG PITCHING FROM 2016 BACK WITH EXPERIENCE
In 2016, 35 of 52 games for UCSD were started on the mound by true freshmen, including all three games of the CCAA Championship. Despite that, the Triton pitching staff compiled an earned-run average of 3.91, good enough for second in the CCAA and 30th nationally in Division II. UCSD has thus placed among the top three in the CCAA in ERA in four of the past five years. All of those arms return, in the form of Brent Bell, Jonah Dipoto, Kyle Lucke, Kyle Mora and Preston Mott.
UCSD continues a tradition of being strong defensively. The Tritons posted a .970 fielding percentage for the second straight year in 2016, leading the CCAA and ranking 20th in Division II. They were second in the CCAA, behind only Cal Poly Pomona (.971), and 21st in Division II, in 2015. UCSD has been in the top 30 nationally and top three in the conference in fielding for each of the past seven seasons. The Tritons were also second in the CCAA (behind Chico State) in 2014 with a .974 clip, and fifth in the country. In 2013, they were second in the league behind Chico State and 11th nationally (.972). They were 29th in Division II in 2012 (.966) and third in the conference. UCSD led the nation with a Division II- and school-record mark of .984 (1611-673-38) in 2010 and was fifth in 2011 (.972), pacing the CCAA both years. No program in the country has even fielded at a .980 rate since 2010.
Eric Newman added Justin James to his staff as the new pitching coach this off-season. James comes over from his alma mater, Point Loma. J.T. Bloodworth returns for a fifth season in the UCSD dugout, now in his third year as the Tritons' recruiting coordinator. Jeff Calhoon and former Triton relief pitcher (2011-12) Tony York are back for their second year. Bloodworth will coach third base and Calhoon will be at first base.
UCSD is 4-1 in season openers under Eric Newman and 13-3 since moving to Division II status for 2001 ... UCSD is 4-1 in CCAA openers with Newman in charge, with four straight wins after a 4-1 loss to Chico State in La Jolla on Feb. 17, 2012 ... The Tritons are 9-7 in CCAA openers all-time (since 2001), and 9-1 with six splits in sets to begin the league season ... UCSD was picked to place third overall and second in the South in the 2017 CCAA race by the league's head coaches, as announced on Jan. 27, with defending CCAA tournament champion Chico State the favorite for the fifth time in six years.
The CCAA baseball landscape remains largely the same for 2017, with two geographically-balanced, six-team divisions. The top three squads in the final standings of each division will again make up the CCAA Championship field. Second-year member Cal State San Marcos, UCSD's crosstown foe and South opponent, is still ineligible for postseason play. The CCAA maintains a 38-game league slate, made up of a four-game series within divisions, and three-gamers across divisions. The automatic qualifier into the NCAA Championship is still the winner of the CCAA tournament, which remains a six-team, double-elimination event over four days. New this year, however, is that the top seed in that tourney will be crowned regular-season champion.
UCSD returns five all-conference performers from 2016 in fourth-year standouts Jack Larsen (first team for second straight year), Tyler Howsley (honorable mention for second straight year) and Steven Coe (honorable mention), and sophomore right-handers Kyle Mora (second team) and Tim Nelson (honorable mention) ... Larsen also picked up NCBWA All-West Region honorable mention in 2016 ... Howsley and Larsen played together at Mission Viejo's Capistrano Valley High School ... All but four players on the 40-man 2017 roster, redshirt junior Tim White (Stratford, CT), redshirt freshman Nick Balley (Austin, TX) and newcomers Jesse Moore (Port Orchard, WA) and J.T. Williams (Eagle, ID), are California natives ... There are seven San Diego products in redshirt seniors Troy Cruz (Chula Vista/Bonita Vista HS) and Adrian Orozco (Chula Vista/San Diego State/Southwestern College/Otay Ranch HS), redshirt junior Steven Coe (Valley Center/Valley Center HS), junior Jack Rupe, Jr. (San Marcos/Mission Hills HS), redshirt sophomore Cameron Kurz (Encinitas/La Costa Canyon HS), and newcomers Alex Eliopulos (La Jolla/San Diego Mesa College/La Jolla HS) and Garrett Henkel (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS) ... Sophomore right-hander Jonah Dipoto is the son of Jerry Dipoto, who pitched eight seasons for three Major League Baseball organizations, and is the general manager of the Seattle Mariners ... Redshirt freshman transfer Keenan Brigman (San Jose/UOP) is the younger brother of former University of San Diego standout and current Seattle Mariners prospect Bryson Brigman, a third-round selection in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
HEAD COACH ERIC NEWMAN
Eric Newman enters his sixth season as the UCSD head coach. The 2012 CCAA Coach of the Year has a 164-106 record (119-74 CCAA) in charge of the Tritons and 259-178 overall in his eight seasons as a head coach. Newman guided UCSD to the 2012 CCAA regular-season and tournament titles in his first go-around in La Jolla, and a subsequent trip to the NCAA Division II West Regional. His Tritons won a record sixth conference tourney crown in May of 2014 in Stockton, to again nab the CCAA's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. With UCSD earning the region's top seed, Triton Ballpark played host to the 2014 NCAA West Regional. Newman has led the Tritons to three CCAA banners and three NCAA postseason berths in his five years, including back-to-back appearances in West Region finals (2014-15), as well as five plus-.500 and four 30-win campaigns. He won his 100th CCAA contest at home against Cal State San Bernardino, 9-4, on Feb. 26, 2016. Newman previously went 95-72 in three seasons at the helm of Dallas Baptist University from 2005-07. He was the fifth-round draft choice of the San Diego Padres out of Texas Tech in 1994, pitching professionally for eight years with four different organizations.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS
Concordia begins just its second campaign as a member of the NCAA Division II and Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Cavaliers, from Portland, Ore., were previously of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. They finished 15-35 overall in 2016 and 13-27 in GNAC play, good for fifth in the six-team league. CU shared the fifth spot in the GNAC Preseason Coaches' Poll with Saint Martin's. Gerhett Moser, a dual standout as an outfielder and left-handed pitcher, was recently named to the NCBWA Preseason All-West Region Team. Rob Vance enters his 19th season in charge at Concordia.
Concordia leads the all-time series, 5-3, though the teams have not met in some time, at least not since 2001 when UCSD moved from the NCAA Division III to Division II.
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UCSD Athletics' online partner, Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.
FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are in eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UCSD home athletic events, and much more!
SOCIAL MEDIA (#AllForOne)
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UCSD continues non-conference play, against another Concordia in Concordia Irvine, with a split-venue four-game series next weekend. The teams will have single meetings in La Jolla in primetime on Friday night, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m., and then on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. In between is a doubleheader in Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 11, starting at 11 a.m.