LA JOLLA, Calif. - Eighth-ranked University of California San Diego was outlasted in 10 innings, 8-6, by Cal State Monterey Bay to begin a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) baseball doubleheader at Triton Ballpark Saturday.
UC San Diego then scored three unearned runs in the seventh on a pair of Otter errors to overturn an early 2-0 deficit in winning the nine-inning nightcap, 3-2. The Tritons managed just three hits in the victory, with redshirt freshman right-hander Blaine Jarvis (1-0) throwing a career-best 4.0 frames of shutout relief for his first collegiate decision.
The teams thus split the twin bill. With the results, UCSD moved to 14-4 overall and 6-2 in the CCAA. Cal State Monterey Bay is now 12-8 overall and 5-4 in league play.
The weekend rubber game is set for a 12 p.m. start on Sunday, March 12, at Triton Ballpark on East Campus in La Jolla. General admission is $5 (free for UCSD students), and parking is free. The contest can be viewed in high definition at UCSDtritons.tv. Redshirt senior right-hander Adrian Orozco (1-0, 4.11), is the expected starter on the mound for UCSD.
Game One - CSUMB 8, UCSD 6 (10)
UCSD struck for five runs in the fifth to turn a 3-1 hole into a 6-3 advantage, but proceeded to surrender five unanswered runs to fall in extras.
After the Otters had knotted the score at 6-6 in the eighth, they put together a two-out rally with back-to-back singles. Jordan Esposo then became a second straight CSUMB right-handed batter to role a single through the hole on the right side, but with Darren Kriz sprinting around third, senior rightfielder Jack Larsen come up throwing and showed off his tremendous arm once more, finding catcher Steven Coe on the fly to apply the easy tag for the third out.
UCSD went on to load the bases in the home half with only one out on successive one-out walks to Tim White, Justin Flatt and Brandon Shirley around a pitching change and a double steal by White and Flatt. Kyle Narahara (2-0) stepped up his game, however, and got both Larsen and Alex Eliopulos looking to stay alive.
CSUMB came back out for the 10th and notched the final two runs of the game on a Nick Vigo RBI single and a wild pitch.
Troy Cruz (2-1) took his first loss after 2.1 innings of relief. Sophomore left-hander Preston Mott was in line to win his sixth decision in as many starts after that big fifth, but had to settle for no decision. He went 5.0 frames and allowed three runs, two of them earned, on season highs of six hits and three walks. Mott's five strikeouts were also a season best.
A great story in between was the return for UCSD of redshirt junior right-hander Kyle Goodbrand. The first-year transfer from Irvine Valley College was hit in the face by a hard liner at home against Western Oregon on Feb. 16. He went 2.2 innings.
CSUMB was ahead 3-1 thanks in large part to a left-handed sophomore starter of their own, Jeffrey Ahern, after four. Tyler Durna, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week opened the home fifth with an opposite-field single to left. After a walk and a perfect bunt by second baseman Tim White, leftfielder Keenan Brigman lifted a hard-hit fly ball to left that looked off the bat like it even could have been headed over the wall. After a walk loaded the bases, Larsen whipped the first pitch he saw into the right field corner for a three-run triple, his first of 2017, and a 5-3 lead. Eliopulos picked him up with a single to right as the Tritons batted around.
Brigman's well-executed safety squeeze with Durna at third put UCSD on the board in the third.
White finished with three hits, while Eliopulos, JD Hearn and Durna added two apiece. Brigman knocked in a pair and Durna scored twice.
Hearn made a terrific diving stab to his left of a hard ground ball by Vigo, before getting up and firing for the first out of the game.
UCSD allowed a season-high 16 hits, four of them by Kriz. The Tritons lost for the first time in 2017 when scoring more than two runs.
Game Two - UCSD 3, CSUMB 2
A giant play in the nightcap came in the top of the sixth inning. With Otters at the corners following a one-out walk and two-out single, Myles Hager looped one out over second base. White sprinted toward center and leapt to make the tough grab at his highest point, save a run, and keep UCSD's deficit a manageable 2-0.
That action proved critical as the Tritons struck for three in their seventh, by virtue of a solitary single in the form of a leadoff Hearn single, and two big CSUMB throwing errors. All three runs were unearned against Kyle Brown (0-2), and in fact, no RBI were credited.
Jarvis made that slight edge hold up, giving up just three hits, all of them singles, and one walk while fanning a pair. After a one-out single by Hager through the left side in the ninth, Jarvis got pinch-hitter Ryan Winkler to ground out to Durna at first, and with the tying run at second, blew a 2-2 pitch past the swinging Vigo to end it.
Flatt drew three walks and tallied the tying score. White walked twice. He combined with Larsen on another key defensive play in the fourth. Kriz doubled down the right field line for starters, but Larsen fished the ball out of the corner and tossed to White, whose throw was on a line to Hearn at third for the tag and first out.
Sophomore right-hander Kyle Mora drew the start on the mound and battled through 5.0 frames with four strikeouts. Jarvis has not allowed a single run in 10.2 innings of work in 2017.
Durna stayed hot by going 4-for-8 on the day with a double and two runs. The Tritons were out-hit by the Otters on the day, 24-13.
Triton Notes: Tyler Howsley extended his consecutive games played streak to 127 dating back to the 2015 opener ... Jack Larsen has appeared in 82 straight games, all of them starts ... Game One: Preston Mott made his sixth start of the year and 20th of his Triton career ... Game Two: Kyle Mora made his fifth start of the year and 13th of his Triton career.