UCSD (15-12, 10-10 CCAA) vs. No. 25 Cal State East Bay (22-8, 12-8 CCAA)
Thursday, Mar. 28 • 6 p.m.
RHP Ryan Goodbrand (6-1, 2.49 ERA) vs. RHP Ben O’Bryan (3-2, 3.47 ERA)
Friday, Mar. 29 • 12 p.m. (DH)
RHP Blake Fassler (4-1, 3.68 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Becker (6-1, 1.45 ERA)
RHP Troy Cruz (1-1, 2.04 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Pope (7-0, 2.35 ERA)
Saturday, Mar. 30 • 11 a.m.
LHP Trevor Scott (1-3, 8.44 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Hudson (1-1, 2.67 ERA)
Triton Ballpark • La Jolla, Calif.
Live Audio/Video • Live Stats
TRITONS FINALLY RETURN TO HOME ACTION
Coming off of an 11-day break from competition for winter quarter final exams, UCSD begins the second half of the 40-game California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) season with No. 25 Cal State East Bay this week. UCSD is 15-12 overall and an even 10-10 in the CCAA, sitting in a tie for sixth. The Pioneers are 22-8 overall and 12-8 in league play, tied for fourth. The Tritons are 9-5 in La Jolla in 2013 and 2-0 in the midst of a stretch of 10 consecutive conference tilts in their friendly confines.
The four-game set with Cal State East Bay at Triton Ballpark will run Thursday, Mar. 28, through Saturday, Mar. 30, due to the Easter holiday. First pitch for Thursday night’s opener is scheduled for 6 p.m. A doubleheader will follow on Friday beginning at noon, with Saturday’s finale set for an 11 a.m. start. Thursday will see a primetime match-up of senior right-handers between Triton ace Ryan Goodbrand (6-1, 2.49 ERA) and Ben O’Bryan (3-2, 3.47 ERA). Friday’s doubleheader will begin with Blake Fassler (4-1, 3.68 ERA) going for a third successive win against fellow junior right-hander Sean Becker (6-1, 1.45 ERA). UCSD should round out the set with freshman right-hander Troy Cruz (1-1, 2.04 ERA) in his second collegiate start and sophomore left-hander Trevor Scott (1-3, 8.44 ERA), in that order. CSUEB is expected to counter with sophomore Michael Pope (7-0, 2.35) and junior Nick Hudson (1-1, 2.67), the latter right-hander having made seven relief appearances as a Triton in 2010 and 2011.
All UCSD home games at Triton Ballpark feature a live online video stream and live stats, both free of charge. Thursday night’s series opener and Friday’s doubleheader with East Bay will have audio commentary provided by former Triton pitcher Tim Strombel (2007-08). Fans can access live video and live stats from the Schedule/Results tab of the baseball page at UCSDtritons.com. Road games have live stats available at minimum, with links active at that same location on the baseball team’s Schedule/Results page. Finally, starting lineups, live between-inning updates and other in-game news and notes can be found during home contests by following Triton Baseball all season long on the UCSD Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons).
SCOUTING CAL STATE EAST BAY
Cal State East Bay (22-8, 12-8 CCAA) is ranked No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and receiving votes in the NCBWA national poll. The Pioneers thus serve as a third successive nationally-ranked league foe for UCSD. They are coming off of a three-game sweep of non-conference opponent Holy Names College last weekend. The Pioneers overpowered the Hawks 16-2 in Oakland on Friday before taking both ends of a home doubleheader, 8-5 and 11-1, on Saturday. Cal State East Bay is 3-4 in away games in 2013, with the trek to La Jolla marking its first true road trip. Senior Charlie Sharrer is a two-way standout who heads south as the reigning NCBWA West Region and Rawlings/CCAA Player of the Week. He batted .692 (9-for-13) and slugged 1.385 with three runs, three doubles, two home runs and six RBI against Holy Names. On the season, he is hitting at a .367 clip with team highs of 10 appearances and four saves out of the bullpen (0-2, 1.49 ERA). Senior Kyle Zozaya is batting .353 (36-for-102) with 23 runs and team highs of 13 doubles and 28 RBI. Sean Becker, like Ryan Goodbrand, is a two-time NCBWA West Region and CCAA Pitcher of the Week. Sophomore Michael Pope, projected to start Friday’s nightcap, leads the CCAA with his seven winning decisions on the mound. Bob Ralston is in his second season in charge at his alma mater.
UCSD leads the all-time series, 14-6-1, and holds a 9-3 advantage over the trio of four-game match-ups in 2010, 2011 and 2012 since Cal State East Bay joined the CCAA as its 11th member. The teams previously faced off nine times as fellow NCAA Division III programs prior to UCSD’s move up to Division II in 2001. The Tritons and Pioneers split four tight affairs in Hayward a season ago in early March. UCSD bookended the series with wins of 5-4 and 4-1 around a doubleheader sweep by East Bay, 6-5 in 10 innings and 3-2 in seven. In La Jolla in 2011, the then-top-ranked Tritons took three out of four.
General admission tickets to all regular-season home games at Triton Ballpark are $5, and are available for purchase beginning one hour prior to start time. All UCSD students are admitted FREE with valid ID. A parking permit is required on the UCSD campus on weeknights, although no permits are needed this Friday, Mar. 29, due to the Cesar Chavez holiday. They can be purchased on Thursday at the machine near the parking lot entrance.
After achieving double figures in runs only once over the first 22 games this season, UCSD has scored 10 or more times in three out of its past five contests. The Tritons also reached the nine-run mark during this latest stretch in a narrow defeat at Cal State L.A. on Mar. 15. UCSD is an undefeated 4-0 when accumulating a run total of 10 or more in 2013.
TRITONS CRUZ TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP, SERIES WIN OVER CSULA
Its last time out before the break for exams, UCSD posted a 3-1 series victory over then-28th-ranked Cal State L.A., Mar. 14-16. It was a first series win for the Tritons since another 3-1 triumph over Cal State Stanislaus to kick off the league ledger, Feb. 15-17. Freshman Troy Cruz led the way in clinching the weekend success against the Golden Eagles as the Tritons took both ends of the Saturday doubleheader. The Chula Vista product first reached base in all five plate appearances, drawing four walks and scoring three times, in a comfortable 10-2 win in the first game. He then took the mound for his first collegiate starting assignment and tossed five scoreless innings in a 4-0 seven-inning combined shutout.
Ryan Goodbrand has picked up right where he left off in 2012. The right-handed staff ace earned the winning decision in each of his first five 2013 starts. He threw 31.1 innings of shutout baseball prior to surrendering a five-run sixth to Cal Poly Pomona in a 7-6 home victory on Feb. 28. Goodbrand’s senior campaign began with a workmanlike five frames against then-No. 20 Colorado Mesa at home on Feb. 1, when he allowed just three hits without a walk, retiring six Mavericks on strikes and four more on ground balls of the 15 outs he recorded before exiting on a 75-pitch limit. At Grand Canyon on Feb. 8, Goodbrand’s no-hit bid was broken up on an infield single with one out in the sixth. He was replaced after that inning with just two hits and two walks against him. Back home on Feb. 15 in UCSD’s conference opener, Goodbrand scattered three hits over 7.0 scoreless frames, striking out 11, believed to be his highest single-game output at any level of organized baseball. At CSUDH on Feb. 21, he gave up five singles and a walk with eight strikeouts in 8.0 innings. Goodbrand’s undefeated run in a Triton uniform and streak of winning decisions in nine straight appearances finally snapped at then-22nd-ranked Sonoma State on Mar. 8. He returned to his winning ways with six strong innings at then-28th-ranked Cal State L.A. on Mar. 14, and is 17-1 in 22 career starts. He has gone a minimum of 5.0 frames in all 22 stints on the mound, with a pair of nine-inning complete games a year ago. UCSD is 19-3 when Goodbrand starts.
SUSDORF’S GOLD-GLOVE STREAK
Danny Susdorf has handled 232 defensive chances in a row without an error, spanning 94 appearances dating back to his last charged error on April 29, 2011, at Chico State. He put away all 125 opportunities without a miscue in 2012 and 71 thus far to begin the 2013 season, including an outfield assist at Grand Canyon.
Senior first baseman Richard Seigel leads the conference with his .632 slugging percentage. His career-high six home runs paces the Tritons and is tied for second in the CCAA behind Chico State’s Blake Gibbs (7). Seigel also has produced a pair of triples and 10 doubles, and is tied for seventh in the league with his team-best 23 runs batted in.
NO FREE PASS FROM FASS
Junior right-hander Blake Fassler has made three starts since joining the Triton rotation, and has won the last two, at Sonoma State (3/10) and at home against Cal State L.A. (3/16). He went six complete innings in both of those outings and did not allow a single walk. He has thrown a total of 14.2 consecutive innings without issuing a base on balls.
SUSDORF MOVING UP ALL-TIME CHARTS
Danny Susdorf’s two hits in UCSD’s most recent game on Saturday, Mar. 16, gave him a team-best 38 for 2013 and moved him ahead of Bob Natal (257; 1984-87) and up into fourth-place on the program’s all-time hit list, now with 258. Former teammates Vance Albitz (329; 2007-10) and Evan Kehoe (310; 2008-11), and Garrett Imeson (306; 2006-09) are the lone Tritons ahead of Susdorf in the 300-Hit Club. Susdorf’s .387 career average (258-for-667) is second-best all-time at UCSD behind Brandon Gregorich (.424; 2009-10). He is first in triples (16), second in steals (66), fifth in doubles (53) and sixth in runs (156).
FOLLOW THE TRITONS
There are a number of ways to follow the Tritons. In addition to UCSDtritons.com, get instant updates on Twitter (@UCSDtritons) and like us on Facebook. For a more visual approach, watch our YouTube channel. Head coach Eric Newman is also on Twitter (@CoachEricNewman).
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