UCSD (19-17, 14-14 CCAA) vs. Point Loma Nazarene (17-19, 13-11 PacWest)
UCSD (19-17, 14-14 CCAA) vs. Azusa Pacific (10-24, 8-16 PacWest)
The UC San Diego baseball team, now 19-17 overall, concludes the non-conference portion of its 2013 schedule with a pair of home games against Pacific West Conference (PacWest) foes this week. UCSD first takes on Point Loma Nazarene University Tuesday night, Apr. 9, in the rubber contest of the three-game season series between crosstown rivals. First pitch at Triton Ballpark is set for 6 p.m.
Both teams are coming off of four-game series splits in conference action against San Francisco opposition. UCSD swept a doubleheader from San Francisco State on Saturday, Apr. 6, 9-6 and 7-5 in seven innings, in between 4-1 and 11-3 losses to the Gators. The Sea Lions split doubleheaders on consecutive days at Academy of Art.
On Saturday, Apr. 13, UCSD will welcome Azusa Pacific University in to Triton Ballpark for a single game beginning at 2 p.m.
UCSD is 13-9 at home in 2013, while Point Loma and Azusa Pacific are 6-11 and 5-12, respectively, on the road. The teams now compete as fellow West Region members of the NCAA Division II, as PLNU and APU are both in the midst of a transition period from the NAIA.
All UCSD home games at Triton Ballpark feature a live online video stream and live stats, both free of charge. Fans can access live video and live stats from the Schedule/Results tab of the baseball page at UCSDtritons.com. Starting lineups, live between-inning updates and other news and notes can be found by following Triton Baseball all season long on the UCSD Athletics Twitter handle (@UCSDtritons).
General admission tickets to all regular-season games at Triton Ballpark are $5, and are available for purchase beginning one hour prior to start time. All UCSD students are admitted FREE with valid ID. A parking permit is required on the UCSD campus on weeknights. They can be purchased at the machine near the parking lot entrance.
SCOUTING POINT LOMA NAZARENE
Point Loma Nazarene is 17-19 overall and 13-11 in the PacWest. The Sea Lions sit in a fifth-place tie in the 10-team league, still led by the now-eighth-ranked Grand Canyon Antelopes whom the Tritons took two out of three games from in Phoenix, Ariz., in early February. Point Loma is led offensively by Tyler Nordgren (.391), Mike Marcoux (.314, 18 R, 8 2B) and Trey Hunt III (.307, 18 R, 39 H). Bryan Burkhead (.275) paces the team in runs (20) and home runs (four). Garrett Levsen (0-0, 1.76 ERA) has five saves over 13 appearances, all out of the bullpen. Joe Schaefer is in his fifth season in charge of the Sea Lions. The PLNU pitching coach is longtime San Diegan John Gunther, who was on the Tritons’ staff in years past.
The Tritons lead the all-time series between the crosstown rivals, 43-38-1. The teams have split their first two meetings this season, both teams rallying to win at home. UCSD took a 6-5 extra-inning decision in walk-off fashion in La Jolla on Feb. 12, with Point Loma edging the Tritons on its home turf, 3-2, on Apr. 2. They had only contested a pair of preseason exhibitions the last two years, with UCSD posting shutout victories of 6-0 and 5-0 at Triton Ballpark on Jan. 30, 2012, and Jan. 29, 2011, respectively. The previous regular-season match-up came in La Jolla on Feb. 2, 2010, with the Sea Lions besting then-third-ranked UCSD, 8-6.
UCSD RALLIES FOR EXTRA-INNING VICTORY IN FIRST MATCH-UP
UCSD posted a come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over Point Loma in 11 innings in the season’s first meeting on Feb. 12 at Triton Ballpark. The Tritons scored twice in the ninth and pushed across the decider in the 11th as Danny Susdorf walked to lead off, moved to second when Dillon Moyer was plunked, and sped home on a Justin Rahn sacrifice when the PLNU pitcher threw the ball away. It marked the first of two walk-off triumphs for the Tritons thus far in 2013. Freshman right-hander Justin Donatella (3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) drew his first collegiate start for UCSD against the Sea Lions’ Sebastian Santos (3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). Junior right-hander Sean Rowan earned the win on the mound, his first decision as a Triton, by tossing a scoreless 10th and 11th with three strikeouts.
TRITONS LET EARLY LEAD SLIP AT POINT LOMA
UCSD took a 2-0 lead on a two-run Richard Seigel home run in the third inning of last Tuesday afternoon’s match-up at Carroll B. Land Stadium, only to see the host Sea Lions come back and nip it in the end, 3-2. Junior third baseman Tyler Nordgren was 3-for-4 and drove in all three runs for Point Loma, leveling the score with a two-run single in the fifth to complete a two-out rally before coming up with an RBI double into the right field corner in the seventh. Freshman right-hander Adrian Orozco tossed three scoreless innings in his first collegiate start as the first of six Triton arms to see action. Chad Etchison (W), Sebastian Santos and Garret Levsen (S) combined for four frames of shutout work for the home side.
SCOUTING AZUSA PACIFIC
Azusa Pacific is 10-24 overall and 8-16 in the PacWest. The Cougars are in seventh place after dropping successive four-game sets, both 3-1, at home to Dixie State and at Cal Baptist the past two weekends. The lone win at CBU was a 1-0 final to begin Saturday’s doubleheader as freshman right-hander Joel Belk tossed a three-hit, seven-inning shutout in just his second collegiate start after the host Lancers had scored 23 runs over the first two games. Belk (1-0, 4.44 ERA) leads the team with two saves. The Cougars’ team ERA is 5.62. Top offensive threats include Richie Brown (.333, 16 RBI), Tyler Putjenter (.321), Ryan Henley (.309, 14 R, 10 2B) and Matt Kimmel (.303, 21 R, 11 2B, 14 RBI). Paul Svagdis is in his ninth season as the Azusa Pacific head coach.
The Cougars lead the all-time series, 18-7. The teams have not met in over a decade, since UCSD produced a 7-5 victory in Azusa on Mar. 24, 2003. The Tritons also cruised to a 19-6 home win on Feb. 19 earlier that same season.
Following Saturday’s game, UCSD returns to conference activity with 12 critical games to conclude the regular season, 10 of which will come away from home. The Tritons will travel north next week to Nettleton Stadium to take on third-ranked and first-place Chico State (27-5, 20-4 CCAA), Friday through Sunday, Apr. 19-21. The Wildcats are winners of 13 straight heading into a four-game set at Cal Poly Pomona this weekend. UCSD is seventh in the latest CCAA standings, two games out of fourth.
FOLLOW THE TRITONS
There are a number of ways to follow the Tritons. In addition to UCSDtritons.com, get instant updates on Twitter (@UCSDtritons) and like us on Facebook. For a more visual approach, watch our YouTube channel. Head coach Eric Newman is also on Twitter (@CoachEricNewman).
-- UCSDtritons.com --