CARSON, Calif. - Ryan Goodbrand
extended his incredible start to the season and 18th-ranked UC San Diego defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills, 5-1, in the opener of a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) baseball series at Toro Field on Thursday afternoon.
With the victory, the Tritons improved to 9-3 overall and 4-1 in the CCAA. Cal State Dominguez Hills dropped to 3-7 overall and is left still searching for a first league win at 0-5.
Goodbrand, the reigning national, regional and conference Pitcher of the Week, went 8.0 shutout innings to move his record to 4-0 and his scoreless streak to begin the season to 26.0 frames. He gave up five hits and one walk while striking out eight, including a pair of called third strikes in the eighth, the latter one ending his day.
Now 15-0 in a Triton uniform, Goodbrand set down the first eight Toros he faced, four of them on strikes with three more on infield popouts. The Toros went in order in the first, second and fifth.
UCSD scored all the runs it needed to back its ace with a pair in its first turn at-bat. Junior shortstop Dillon Moyer drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on a single by leftfielder Justin Rahn, who wound up at second on the throw home. After Nick La Face walked, the two juniors executed a designed play with La Face spending enough time in a rundown to allow Rahn to score.
Goodbrand took the hill for the first time in the home half and within moments had two strikeouts to his credit as Ivory Thomas and Carlos Avila each waved at 0-2 offerings before a flyout gave the Triton hurler his first 1-2-3 frame of the afternoon.
Goodbrand's counterpart for CSUDH, fellow senior right-hander Sean Wardour, was game to stage a typical series-opening pitchers' duel following that rocky first frame. He retired 12 straight Tritons between a hit-by-pitch on Brett Levy to open the second, and a leadoff walk to Danny Susdorf in the sixth.
The Toros threatened in the home fourth as Goodbrand hit Brady Conlan with two gone and David Steininger singled to center. Kevin Logan tried to bunt his way on, but couldn't direct the ball around the UCSD pitcher, who made the play with ease.
UCSD tacked on a two-out score in the sixth, as Rahn worked the count full and drew a base on balls. La Face then produced a clutch RBI double to center field for 3-0.
Thomas singled to left field to begin the Toro sixth, but Goodbrand threw behind the CSUDH centerfielder over to first baseman Richard Seigel, who in turn fired to Moyer for the out. The successful pick-off proved to be a crucial play as a hit batsman, foulout and single left two Toros on base with two away, but Steininger swung through a third strike to keep the hosts scoreless.
CSUDH leftfielder Jordan Yallen drew the first walk from Goodbrand with two outs in the home seventh, but Alex Sixtos popped up on the infield.
Seigel provided a final bit of insurance for the Tritons, banging a two-run home run, the team-leading fourth of his senior campaign, on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the eighth after Moyer singled to lead off, stole second and moved to third on an error.
With junior Blake Fassler on to pitch the ninth for UCSD, the Toros scratched across an unearned run with two outs on an infield error to avert the shutout.
Rahn was 1-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and one driven in. Moyer was 1-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Wardour (1-2) allowed three runs on two hits over 6.0 frames, with five walks and five strikeouts. He set the Tritons down in order in the third, fourth and fifth.
UCSD and Cal State Dominguez Hills continue their four-game, split-venue set with another single game at Toro Field on Friday at 2 p.m. Live audio on the Toro Sports Network can be accessed here. The series concludes in La Jolla with a noon doubleheader at Triton Ballpark on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Triton Notes: Garrett Tuck has started 84 consecutive games and made 91 straight appearances ... Nick La Face drew his 69th consecutive start ... Ryan Goodbrand made his 19th start in a Triton uniform and has gone at least 5.0 innings in each of those 19 outings, with UCSD now 17-2 when he pitches ... With one more putout today, Danny Susdorf's defensive streak without an error extended to his last 79 games and 190 chances, dating back to April 29, 2011 ... Dillon Moyer's two stolen bases gave him seven thefts on seven attempts this year ... Justin Rahn's first-inning RBI increased his team-leading total to 13 on the season ... Brett Levy's second-inning steal was his first of 2013 and second of his career on two tries.
-- UCSDtritons.com --