UCSD (17-14, 12-12 CCAA) at Point Loma Nazarene (14-17, 11-9 PacWest)
The UC San Diego baseball team travels across town to Point Loma Nazarene University this Tuesday afternoon, Apr. 2, for the second of three meetings in 2013 between the city rivals. First pitch at scenic Carroll B. Land Stadium is set for 3 p.m.
Both teams are coming off of four-game series splits at home in conference play. UCSD swept a doubleheader from then-25th-ranked Cal State East Bay last Friday, Mar. 29, 3-2 and 3-0 in seven innings, in between 10-7 and 11-3 losses to the Pioneers. The Sea Lions were swept by Hawai’i Pacific in a Saturday doubleheader, 4-3 and 3-1, after taking both ends of Friday’s twin bill, 9-2 and 9-4.
Tuesday’s meeting comes as UCSD and PLNU each prepare for four-game sets against in-league San Francisco opposition this coming weekend. The Tritons will host San Francisco State, while the Sea Lions travel north to take on Academy of Art.
UCSD is 6-7 in road contests in 2013, while Point Loma is 10-8 at home. The sides now compete against one another as fellow West Region members of the NCAA Division II, as PLNU is in the midst of its transition period from the NAIA.
Tuesday’s game at Point Loma Nazarene will have live stats for free and a live online video stream for a pay-per-view price of $8.00. The event will be made available for purchase 10-15 minutes prior to the 3 p.m. start. Fans can access both from the Schedule/Results tab of the baseball page at UCSDtritons.com. 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).
SCOUTING POINT LOMA NAZARENE
Point Loma Nazarene is 14-17 overall and 11-9 in the Pacific West Conference (PacWest). The Sea Lions sit in fifth-place in the 10-team PacWest, led by the now-ninth-ranked Grand Canyon Antelopes whom the Tritons took two out of three games from in Phoenix, Ariz., in early February. Point Loma is led offensively by Tyler Nordgren (.413), Mike Marcoux (.326), Trey Hunt III (.309, 15 R, 34 H) and Zach Allen (.305, 16 R, 21 RBI, 12 SB). Bryan Burkhead (.281) has four home runs and is also tied for first on the team chart with five doubles. Garrett Levsen (0-0, 2.19 ERA) has four saves over 11 appearances, all out of the bullpen. Joe Schaefer is in his fifth season in charge of the Sea Lions. The PLNU pitching coach is longtime San Diegan John Gunther, who was on the Tritons’ staff in years past.
The Tritons lead the all-time series between the crosstown rivals, 43-37-1. They took a 6-5 extra-inning decision in walk-off fashion in La Jolla on Feb. 12. The teams had only contested a pair of preseason exhibitions the last two years, with UCSD posting shutout victories of 6-0 and 5-0 at Triton Ballpark on Jan. 30, 2012, and Jan. 29, 2011, respectively. The previous regular-season match-up came in La Jolla on Feb. 2, 2010, with the Sea Lions besting then-third-ranked UCSD by the final score of 8-6. The season series concludes back in La Jolla next Tuesday night, Apr. 9, at 6 p.m.
UCSD RALLIES FOR EXTRA-INNING VICTORY IN FIRST MATCH-UP
UCSD posted a come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over Point Loma in 11 innings in the season’s first meeting on Feb. 12 at Triton Ballpark. The Tritons scored twice in the ninth and pushed across the decider in the 11th as Danny Susdorf walked to lead off, moved to second when Dillon Moyer was plunked, and sped home on a Justin Rahn sacrifice when the PLNU pitcher threw the ball away. It marked the first of two walk-off triumphs for the Tritons thus far in 2013. Freshman right-hander Justin Donatella (3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) drew his first collegiate start for UCSD against the Sea Lions’ Sebastian Santos (3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). Junior right-hander Sean Rowan earned the win on the mound, his first decision as a Triton, by tossing a scoreless 10th and 11th with three strikeouts.
SUSDORF’S GOLD GLOVE STREAK
Danny Susdorf has handled 240 defensive chances in a row without an error, spanning 98 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 79 thus far to begin the 2013 season, including an outfield assist at Grand Canyon.
Following Tuesday’s game, UCSD returns to conference activity this Friday, Apr. 5, kicking off a critical four-game weekend set against the Gators of San Francisco State (10-22, 7-17 CCAA). Senior ace Ryan Goodbrand’s (6-2, 3.00 ERA) first pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Triton Ballpark. The series will continue with a noon doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 6, and an 11 a.m. start to Sunday’s finale.
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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