LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The 23rd-ranked UC San Diego baseball team put together 16 hits and answered every rally attempt to hand 20th-ranked visiting Colorado Mesa an 8-4 defeat in the rubber game of a season-opening non-conference series at Triton Ballpark on Sunday.
With the victory, UCSD improved to 2-1 in the early going, while Colorado Mesa dropped to 1-2. The teams had split the first two games of the set, with the Tritons taking Friday night's opener, 6-2, and the Mavericks posting a 5-2 win on Saturday.
Sunday heroes included junior third baseman Garrett Tuck, who matched his single-game career high with four hits, including an RBI single to cap the scoring in the eighth.
Senior first baseman Richard Seigel fell a single short of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. His solo home run to greet Maverick reliever Joey Danner on his second offering to lead off the home fifth gave UCSD a 4-2 edge. Seigel tagged a double to open the second and then tripled and scored on Tuck's single in the eighth. He connected to the gap in right-center field on all three.
Junior leftfielder Justin Rahn was 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI, completing his weekend with a trio of multi-hit performances (8-for-14).
Freshman second baseman Troy Cruz, a local product from Chula Vista and Bonita Vista High School, was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. His first collegiate hit came to lead off the bottom of the third in the form of a single up the middle on an 0-2 count. He later added a crucial RBI double down the left field line and came around to score for a 7-4 Triton cushion in the seventh. Finally, the two-way performer tossed a scoreless ninth.
Sophomore left-hander Trevor Scott (1-0) earned the winning decision on the mound, throwing the first five frames and allowing two runs, both earned, on six hits and one walk. He struck out a pair. Scott got out of an immediate jam in the opening frame as on his very first pitch, an infield single and error put CMU leadoff batter Braden Box at second. A lineout, flyout and strikeout stranded Box at third.
The Mavericks then had runners at first and second and one out in the second, only for Scott to induce a 4-6-3 double play to keep the game scoreless. The Laguna Niguel product then produced the only two 1-2-3 innings for either team on the day back-to-back in the third and fourth.
UCSD would ultimately strike for the first three runs of the afternoon in the fourth. Tuck led off with a single. Junior shortstop Dillon Moyer seemingly bunted him over to second, but a balk was called, with Tuck still advancing to second but Moyer remaining active at the plate. On the very next pitch, he singled to center to put runners at the corners. Sophomore catcher Brett Levy then executed a safety squeeze as senior Maverick right-hander Nolan Snell held onto the ball without throwing to any base. Tuck scored for the 1-0 edge. Cruz got the bunt down to put two runners in scoring position. Mesa centerfielder Tamatoa Demello dove toward the gap for Susdorf's double, but was unable to make the play. Rahn followed and dumped an RBI single on a 1-2 pitch in front of Demello for 3-0.
From there, Colorado Mesa scored two in the fifth and single runs in the sixth and seventh, but the Tritons answered each time, ultimately tallying scores in each inning from the fourth through the eighth.
Snell (0-1), the preseason Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Pitcher of the Year, took the loss for the Mavs, allowing three runs in 3.1 innings. Box, Austin Kaiser and Nate Robertson had three hits apiece among 12 total for CMU.
UCSD will stay in non-conference action and travel by bus this Thursday, Feb. 7, to Phoenix, Ariz., for another three-game series against Grand Canyon University.
Triton Notes: UCSD is now 7-5 all-time against Colorado Mesa, including 6-1 in La Jolla ... Senior All-American Danny Susdorf's RBI double in the fourth inning extended his hit streak to 20 games dating back to last season ... Susdorf also made five more clean putouts in center field, extending his defensive streak without an error to his last 170 chances and 70 games dating back to April 29, 2011 ... Richard Seigel had gone 0-for-7 over the first two games prior to his breakout Sunday ... The home run was Seigel's fifth as a Triton ... True freshman Adrian Orozco made his collegiate debut, throwing the sixth inning ... Junior right-hander Blake Fassler made his Triton debut, entering the game with one out in the eighth and inducing a pair of groundouts after a single ... UCSD batters accounted for all six extra-base hits in the contest.
-- UCSDtritons.com --