UCSD (25-21, 19-17 CCAA) at No. 8 Cal State Monterey Bay (34-12, 26-10 CCAA)
Friday, May 3 • 3 p.m.
RHP Ryan Goodbrand (8-3, 3.67 ERA) vs. RHP Will Anderson (8-2, 1.67 ERA)
Saturday, May 4 • 11 a.m. (DH)
RHP Blake Fassler (4-3, 4.21 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Daniels (6-3, 2.93 ERA)
RHP Troy Cruz (5-2, 2.28 ERA) vs. RHP Jeff Owen (10-1, 2.25 ERA)
Sunday, May 5 • 11 a.m.
RHP Dan Kolodin (4-2, 3.36 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Helmkamp (5-0, 3.68 ERA)
Otter Sports Complex • Seaside, Calif.
FINAL CHANCE TO IMPRESS REGIONAL COMMITTEE
A series victory over Cal State San Bernardino last week was not enough to keep UCSD’s hopes alive of a 10th straight California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship Tournament berth. The Tritons head north to Seaside this weekend to wrap up the 2013 regular season against Cal State Monterey Bay. UCSD is 25-21 overall and 19-17 in the CCAA. The eighth-ranked Otters, now in a tie with Cal State L.A. atop the CCAA standings, are 34-12 overall and 26-10 in league play. CSUMB has won 10 straight games overall to vault into that conference lead, and 13 in a row at home. The Otters are 20-5 in Seaside.
The four-game set at Cal State Monterey Bay runs Friday through Sunday, May 3-5. Friday’s opener at the CSUMB Baseball Field, with a 3 p.m. start, could mark the final appearance in a UCSD uniform for senior right-hander Ryan Goodbrand (8-3, 3.67 ERA). CSUMB is expected to counter with junior right-hander Will Anderson (8-2, 1.67 ERA), who spent the 2012 season at Division I Fresno State. Saturday’s doubleheader, as well as Sunday’s series finale, both are slated to get underway at 11 a.m. The Tritons should send, in order, right-handers Blake Fassler, Troy Cruz and Dan Kolodin to the mound in those three contests, to be opposed by Otter right-handers Chris Daniels, Jeff Owen and Jordan Helmkamp.
UCSD (19-17) is now alone in sixth in the CCAA, and was eliminated from contention for a 10th consecutive CCAA Championship berth when Sonoma State managed to complete a four-game sweep of Chico State in Sacramento on Sunday night. The Seawolves are four games ahead of the Tritons with four to play, and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, even in the event of a three-way logjam for fourth with Cal State East Bay included. The top four sides earn CCAA Championship berths.
LATEST REGIONAL RANKING KEEPS NCAA BID IN PLAY
Though its streaks of four straight CCAA regular-season and tournament titles and nine straight CCAA Championship appearances have come to an end, UCSD can still hope to extend its stretch of six consecutive NCAA postseason berths. The second installment of the NCAA’s regional rankings was released on Wednesday, May 1, with the Tritons holding on to the No. 6 position in the West. The top six teams in the final edition of that listing will earn berths into the NCAA West Regional. The teams ahead of UCSD are Cal State Monterey Bay, Sonoma State, Grand Canyon, Dixie State and Chico State. Cal State L.A. and Cal State East Bay follow in seventh and eighth.
This weekend’s games in Seaside will have live stats only, accessible through the Schedule/Results tab of the baseball page at UCSDtritons.com. In addition, follow the action on Twitter via @UCSDtritons, @CSUMBbaseball and @OtterAthletics.
SCOUTING CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY
Cal State Monterey Bay (34-12, 26-10 CCAA) is coming off of back-to-back four-game conference sweeps over Cal Poly Pomona at home and Cal State Stanislaus in a split-venue set. The Otters clinched their first-ever CCAA Championship berth with their four wins against the Warriors last weekend, and have achieved the most wins in program history. Junior outfielder Mark Hurley (.371) has been named the Rawlings/CCAA Player of the Week for each of the past two weeks. Against Stanislaus, he was 8-for-16 with three runs, three doubles and five RBI. Redshirt sophomore right-hander Jeff Owen leads the league with his 10 wins on the hill, while junior right-handed closer A.J. Quintero (2-1, 2.70 ERA) paces the CCAA with eight saves. Walt White is in his third season in charge of the Otters.
UCSD leads the all-time series with Cal State Monterey Bay, 24-7, since the first meetings in 2006, including 23-5 in conference match-ups and 11-4 in Seaside. The Tritons split four games in their last visit to Seaside in 2011 as the nation’s top-ranked team, but this weekend will look rather to duplicate their four-game sweeps there from the 2009 and 2007 campaigns. UCSD took last year’s set in La Jolla, three games to one.
RECORD NUMBER OF RANKED FOES
When UCSD completes the regular season this weekend with four games at No. 8 Cal State Monterey Bay, it will mean 23 contests in 2013 against teams ranked at the time in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. That appears to be a single-season program record, with the Tritons currently 10-9 in those games. Series wins in non-conference play at home against Colorado Mesa (now No. 4) and at Grand Canyon (No. 26), as well as in conference play against Cal State L.A. (No. 24), combined with a four-game split at then-No. 3 Chico State (now No. 21), have put UCSD in position to extend its string of NCAA postseason berths to seven years in a row with good results up in Seaside this weekend.
SUSDORF MOVING UP ALL-TIME CHARTS
Danny Susdorf’s team-leading 64 hits in 2013 have moved him from 10th up into fourth-place on the program’s all-time list, now with 284. 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 .381 career average (284-for-745) is third all-time at UCSD behind Brandon Gregorich (.424; 2009-10) and Ryan Hill (.386; 1997-99). He is first in triples (17), second in steals (75), fifth in doubles (57) and fourth in runs (172). Imeson (59) and Matt Cantele (175) are next on the doubles and runs charts, respectively.
Senior first baseman Richard Seigel leads the league in slugging percentage (.622), extra-base hits (26), walks (tied-33) and total bases (tied-97). His career-best 10 home runs also have him atop the CCAA, tied with Cal State L.A.’s James Wharton. Seigel is vying to become the first Triton to lead the CCAA in home runs since Matt Cantele blasted a school-record 23 in 2007. He also has produced three triples and 13 doubles, and is tied for sixth in the league with 37 RBI.
Ryan Goodbrand has been the Triton ace for a second year in a row. The right-hander 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 has gone a minimum of 5.0 frames in all but one of his 26 starts, lasting only 4.2 innings on Mar. 28. Goodbrand is 19-3 for his career and UCSD is 21-5 when he throws.
LA FACE SURPASSES 100 STRAIGHT STARTS
Junior catcher/DH Nick La Face has drawn 103 starts in a row dating back to the 2012 season opener. He had reached base safely in 29 consecutive games, with the last nine of 2012, and each of the first 20 contests this year, before that streak was ended in game one of a doubleheader at Sonoma State (3/9). La Face is third in the CCAA with 32 walks.
CRUZ OFF TO GREAT START AS COLLEGIATE STARTING PITCHER
Freshman dual threat Troy Cruz has won each of his first five starting assignments on the mound, the first two coming in seven-inning shutouts (4-0 and 3-0). Four have completed doubleheader sweeps in league play, two of them at home over nationally-ranked Cal State L.A. (3/16) and Cal State East Bay (3/29). His ERA is just 1.24 (29.0 IP, 8 R, 4 ER) as a starter. The Chula Vista native tossed 16.2 scoreless frames to begin his first three college starts, before finally surrendering a two-run fifth to San Francisco State (4/6). He needed just 89 pitches and 87 minutes against East Bay to produce the first and only complete game by a Triton pitcher in 2013, and first individual shutout since Feb. 12, 2011.
NO FREE PASS FROM FASS
Junior right-hander Blake Fassler has made eight starts since joining the Triton rotation. He won two straight at Sonoma State (3/10) and vs. Cal State L.A. (3/16) prior to three straight no-decisions and losses at Chico State (4/20) and vs. CSUSB (4/26). He went six complete innings in those back-to-back wins without allowing a single walk. Fassler threw a total of 21.1 consecutive innings without issuing a base on balls before that streak was snapped in his final inning on Mar. 29. He has walked eight in 57.2 frames, and has gone at least 5.0 innings in seven of his eight starting assignments.
LISKE LIGHTING IT UP OF LATE
Scott Liske has started each of the past 14 contests in right field and has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games. In the seven-inning series finale at CSUSB on Apr. 27, a 16-5 UCSD demolition, he produced a Triton season best of six RBI, a new career high for the senior. He was 4-for-5 with career highs of four hits and four runs scored, falling a double short of hitting for the cycle.
The Tritons are back atop the CCAA in steals in 2013, just ahead of CSUDH (68) with 69 on 95 attempts. Danny Susdorf has been successful on 26 of his 33 tries to again pace the conference. Dillon Moyer is tied for seventh with 13 on 15 attempts. UCSD led the CCAA and ranked 27th nationally in the NCAA Division II with 103 stolen bases in 2012, achieving a new single-season program record. The previous mark of 101 had been set in 1985 and matched in 1988.
Triton Athletics is excited about its partnership with Advanced-Online which provides a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans now have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Access the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.
FOLLOW THE TRITONS
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