The Tritons dropped to 13-12 overall and 8-10 in the CCAA. First-place Cal State L.A. moved its record to 16-9 overall and 14-4 in league play. The result evened the four-game series at one apiece, as UCSD had taken a 10-7 decision on Thursday night.
UCSD bookended the contest with a seven-run frame of its own in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate after a bases-clearing double to left center by junior shortstop Dillon Moyer, but a strikeout ended the valiant comeback effort.
After a quick 1-2-3 top half, the host Golden Eagles sent 12 men to the plate in tagging the Tritons for seven early runs in their first offensive turn. Scott Masik started it all by drawing a five-pitch walk. Jeremy Weber followed with his second triple in as many at-bats going back to Thursday when his ninth-inning three-bagger completed his cycle. Weber scored on James Wharton's single.
When the top of the order came back around, Masik poked a two-run single through the left side. Four of the seven CSULA runs were unearned through two UCSD errors.
With one away in the fourth, Richard Seigel took the first pitch of his at-bat out to center field for his team-best sixth home run, putting UCSD on the board. The senior first baseman had earlier led off the second with a double, but got stranded at third following a pair of groundouts and an infield lineout.
In between in the bottom of the third, Triton All-American centerfielder Danny Susdorf robbed Casey Ryan of extra bases when he sprinted into the gap in left center and made the diving catch for the second out.
Cal State L.A. senior third baseman Tyler Christian, already with three doubles to that point, kept his big night going in the sixth, smacking the first pitch he saw from Triton freshman Justin Donatella over the wall in left for a three-run shot and 11-1.
With runners at the corners and one gone in the seventh, a single by Troy Cruz pulled one back for UCSD. That set up the ninth as the Tritons batted around.
The entire rally took place with two outs, when Susdorf was issued a four-pitch free pass and fellow senior Sam Michaels laced a two-strike double down the left field line. Ho-Kyun Choi was plunked to load the bases. What followed was back-to-back singles by James Mossholder and Jonah Northrop, and successive walks to Andrew Hobson and Corbin Wirta, all of which knocked in single runs to set up Moyer.
Seigel was 2-for-4 to lead UCSD offensively, with his home run, double, run and RBI. Mossholder produced his first three-hit game as a Triton, going 3-for-3 with three singles, a run and an RBI off the bench. Hobson had two walks, two runs and an RBI.
Scott (1-3) went 5.0 innings, giving up eight runs, four of them earned, on nine hits and one walk. The junior left-hander fanned four, retiring CSULA in order in the fifth on a groundout in between a pair of strikeouts.
Chad Rieser threw a season-high 1.2 innings of shutout relief for UCSD. The sophomore left-hander entered with two men on and one away in the sixth, and got a fielder's choice groundout and called third strike to end the frame. Rieser let the first two batters reach in the home seventh before another strikeout looking, flyout and infield popout. Freshman right-hander Adrian Orozco tossed a perfect eighth.
For CSULA, David Armas (4-0) allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks in 8.0 innings, striking out five. He set the Tritons down in order in the first and fifth.
Christian finished 4-for-5 with the home run and three doubles to put him atop the conference with 13. The transfer from San Jose State had three runs and four RBI. Masik was 3-for-4 with a walk, run and two RBI.
The series now moves south to La Jolla and concludes with a noon doubleheader at Triton Ballpark on Saturday, Mar. 16.
Triton Notes: UCSD is 7-2 in night games and 4-5 against ranked opponents in 2013 ... Nick La Face has started 82 straight games ... Richard Seigel has started 62 games in a row, all at first base ... His double to lead off the second was his ninth of 2013, tying him with Danny Susdorf for the team lead ... Seigel's fourth-inning home run was the 10th of his Triton career and moved him into a tie with Cal State L.A.'s James Wharton for the conference lead ... With six more putouts tonight, Susdorf's defensive streak without an error extended to his last 92 games and 227 chances dating back to April 29, 2011 ... Sophomore catcher Ho-Kyun Choi made his 2013 season debut, replacing La Face behind the plate to begin the home seventh, and collected his first plate appearances and run scored of the year ... Sam Michaels' ninth-inning double was his first extra-base hit of 2013 ... Junior Jonah Northrop accounted for his first hit and run scored of the year in the ninth ... The seven runs UCSD allowed in the first marked its biggest inning against this year, eclipsing Cal Poly Pomona's six-run third during a 6-0 decision in Pomona on Mar. 2 and Grand Canyon's six-run fourth in a 7-6 home win on Feb. 10 ... The 11 runs were a season high for UCSD pitching, and marked the second time this season that the Tritons have let up a double-figure run total ... UCSD's seven-run ninth equaled its single-inning high for the year, from the fourth at Sonoma State on Mar. 10.
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