ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -
UC San Diego scored a season-high 11 runs, seven coming in the fourth, to salvage the finale of a four-game California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) baseball series with No. 22 Sonoma State, 11-3, at Seawolf Diamond on Sunday.
The Tritons improved to 12-11 overall and 7-9 in the CCAA. Sonoma State dropped to 13-5 overall and 5-3 in league play. The host Seawolves had already clinched the series victory with scores of 5-1 Friday afternoon and 5-4 in 10 innings and 5-2 in seven during Saturday's doubleheader sweep.
Sunday's result meant that UCSD has still not been swept in a series, conference or non-conference, in nine years since 2004 at then-Division II UC Davis (Apr. 2-4).
UCSD's most explosive inning offensively thus far of the 2013 campaign saw 10 men come to the plate and seven runs scored in all off of seven hits and a walk. The big knock was senior first baseman Richard Seigel's first-pitch no-doubter of a team-leading fifth home run to right center to stretch it out to an 8-2 Triton advantage.
The outburst began when junior leftfielder Justin Rahn worked the count full off of SSU starter Austin Wiggins before poking a base hit through the right side. Junior third baseman Garrett Tuck followed with a double down the line in left. Freshman second baseman Andrew Hobson sent the very next pitch to left for an opposite-field single, notching his first career hit and RBI and forging a 2-2 deadlock.
UCSD went on top as redshirt freshman rightfielder Corbin Wirta pulled a two-run double down the right field line. With one away, runners at the corners and Wiggins (1-1) in the dugout, senior centerfielder Danny Susdorf greeted Jason Kochan with an RBI single on his first offering, setting up Seigel's big fly just one pitch later.
The Tritons added a run in the eighth on an RBI fielder's choice groundout by freshman DH Troy Cruz after Wirta singled to open and scooted around to third on a play that tagged Sonoma State with two more errors among five on the afternoon.
Sonoma State walked the bases loaded in the ninth before a fourth base on balls to junior shortstop Dillon Moyer forced in Rahn. Cruz then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Hobson with an 11th and final run.
In just his second starting assignment for head coach Eric Newman, Fassler (3-1) struck out a season-high eight over 6.0 innings of work, including back-to-back Seawolf batters in his last frame after a lead single by Sam Montgomery. He allowed all three runs, with just one of them earned, on five hits and did not issue a walk. The Diablo Valley College transfer retired the first seven batters of the game.
Fellow junior right-hander David Hart took over to start the seventh and retired Sonoma State in order on the infield. Hart (1.2 IP, 1 H), Chad Rieser (0.1 IP) and Scott Zeman (1.0 IP, 1 H) combined for three complete innings of scoreless relief.
Seigel finished 2-for-5 with the home run, run scored and a season-high three RBI. Susdorf went 3-for-5 with a run, two RBI and his league-best 17th stolen base in the sixth. Cruz and Rahn added two hits apiece. Wirta was 2-for-4 for his first career multi-hit game, with his second double, a walk, two runs scored and two driven in.
The Tritons got on the scoreboard in the opening frame as Moyer reached via error, advanced to third on a Cruz single and scored on a fielder's choice ground ball by Susdorf. UCSD loaded the bases with two gone, but could not do further damage.
Sonoma State took a short-lived 2-1 lead in the home third, capitalizing on a Triton miscue to score an unearned pair on DH Marcus Kimura's two-out double.
UCSD will conclude a season-long eight-game road stretch with single games at in-form league leader Cal State L.A. (15-8, 13-3 CCAA) this Thursday and Friday night, Mar. 14-15. First pitch at Reeder Field for both contests is set for 6 p.m.
Triton Notes: Nick La Face has started 80 straight games ... Richard Seigel has started 60 games in a row, all at first base ... Freshman Troy Cruz started as the Triton DH for the first time ... Seigel's home run was his ninth as a Triton, with his three RBI on the shot giving him a team-best 20 ... With two more putouts today, Danny Susdorf's defensive streak without an error extended to his last 90 games and 217 chances dating back to April 29, 2011 ... UCSD's biggest inning of 2013 prior to today's seven-run fourth was a six-run effort in the eighth at Grand Canyon on Feb. 9 ... The seven runs in the fourth were more than the Tritons had managed in any of their previous five games since Mar. 1 ... True freshman Andrew Hobson drew his second collegiate start and had his first multi-run game with two, as well as his first walk ... Blake Fassler's 6.0 innings marked the longest outing so far of his UCSD career ... Seigel and Corbin Wirta matched their single-game career highs of three and two RBI, respectively ... UCSD's only other game this season with a double-digit run total was a 10-5 win at Grand Canyon (Feb. 8) ... The game featured a delay in the home fifth when, after the teams had gone into their respective dugouts as the Tritons seemingly registered the third out of the frame, Seawolf leadoff man Jackson Stogner was adjudged to have been interfered with and awarded first base after all, the play going down as an error on Fassler and marking the second time this season that UCSD's defense has had to re-take the field ... UCSD lost its first series to Sonoma State since 2009 (also 3-1 in Rohnert Park).
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