ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -
UC San Diego dropped both ends of a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) baseball doubleheader to No. 22 Sonoma State at Seawolf Diamond on Saturday.
Game scores were 5-4 in 10 frames and 5-2 in the seven-inning nightcap.
With the two results, the Tritons fell to an even 11-11 overall and 6-9 in the CCAA. Sonoma State improved to 13-4 overall and 5-2 in league play. Having taken Friday afternoon's opener, 5-1, the host Seawolves clinched the four-game weekend set.
UCSD will try to salvage the series finale at Seawolf Diamond on Sunday, Mar. 10, beginning at 11 a.m. Fans access a free online broadcast by clicking here.
In the opener, Sonoma State struck first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Shortly after Nathan Bernstein had doubled to left center with one out, No. 9 hitter Scott Harkin drove a 1-2 pitch that Triton leftfielder Scott Liske initially gloved, but as the junior hit the wall, the ball popped over the fence for a two-run home run.
Seawolf starter George Asmus retired the first eight Triton batters before issuing a walk to redshirt freshman rightfielder Corbin Wirta with two gone in the third.
UCSD cut the deficit in half via a two-out rally in its half of the fifth. Garrett Tuck singled, Liske was hit by a pitch, and then an infield error allowed Tuck to score.
An inning later, the score was tied through three consecutive singles to open by Troy Cruz, Danny Susdorf and finally Richard Seigel with the two-strike RBI knock through the right side.
The home side surged back ahead by two in the seventh on a two-run single through the right side by Sam Montgomery. Steven Ahead of that, Steven Filippi's ground-rule double had hopped the fence in left and put SSU runners at second and third.
Once more, the Tritons clawed back to even, scoring twice themselves in the next half-inning off of Taylor Herbert, who had just replaced Asmus on the hill. Herbert issued free passes to Susdorf and Seigel to open, with Nick La Face then laying down the sacrifice. Justin Rahn took the first pitch he saw up the middle for an RBI single. Following a pitching change, Tuck's successful squeeze tied matters again at 4-4.
Consecutive two-strike singles to open the ninth put the Tritons in good position to re-take the lead, but freshman reliever Steven Zaharias picked Wirta off of second. After a stolen base, strikeout and intentional walk to Susdorf, Harkin moved from shortstop to the mound and fanned Seigel swinging.
In the bottom of the inning, an infield error and first-pitch Harkin single through the left side put a pair of SSU runners on base before an out could be recorded. A flyout, fielder's choice groundout and strikeout moved the game intro extras.
The Seawolves won the game in their half of the 10th as Peter Boulware singled with one out, moved to second on a walk and sprinted home on Bernstein's single.
UCSD used seven pitchers in the game, with Rahn starting and going the first 4.2 frames. With Seawolves at the corners and two away in a scoreless contest in the first, Rahn induced a third ground-ball out in the inning to get out of trouble. Cruz (0-1) took over for the eighth, ninth and 10th and was pinned with his first loss.
Harkin (1-0) was a thorn, going 4-for-4 at the plate with the home run, two runs, two RBI, and 1.1 innings of shutout relief for the winning pitching decision.
La Face's second home run of the season, a two-out, two-run shot to left center in the fourth, briefly gave the Tritons a 2-1 edge, but UCSD was unable to hold on.
The home run came after Susdorf was hit by a pitch with one away, stole second, and stole third as Seigel took a called third strike for out number two. It marked the first earned runs allowed by Seawolf starter Glenn Wallace (3-0) this season, having previously only given up a pair of unearned scores in 21 innings of work in 2013.
Sonoma State, which had opened the scoring on an RBI groundout by Harkin in the second following a one-out double by Garrett Schwartz to put men at second and third, tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth. Bernstein drew a leadoff walk and was lifted for a pinch-running Boulware. After a single, the run ultimately scored on an error.
A three-run sixth then put the Seawolves in the driver's seat. Catcher Steven Moen's leadoff ground-rule double started the rally. What proved to be the winning run crossed the plate on a wild pitch, with Sam Montgomery's two-out, two-run single through the left side determining the final margin at 5-2. Those final two scores were unearned as the inning was extended due to a second Triton infield miscue.
UCSD brought the tying run to bat in its last half as La Face and Rahn mustered back-to-back singles off of new pitcher Jayson Richards, but Richards then shut the door with three successive strikeouts for his first save.
La Face wound up 3-for-3 with the home run, his fourth double of the year, one run scored and two driven in. Rahn added a pair of hits.
Freshman right-hander Adrian Orozco (0-1) took the loss in relief of starter Dan Kolodin, who threw the first five innings.
Triton Notes: Nick La Face has started 79 straight games ... Richard Seigel has started 59 games in a row, all at first base ... With six more putouts today, Danny Susdorf's defensive streak without an error extended to his last 89 games and 215 chances dating back to April 29, 2011 ... Susdorf was thrown out trying to take third in the sixth inning of the first game, marking his first time being caught stealing this season after 14 consecutive successful attempts ... Susdorf then swiped two bags in game two to increase his conference-leading season total to 16 ... UCSD is assured of its first series loss to Sonoma State since 2009 (3-1 in Rohnert Park).
-- UCSDtritons.com --