SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - UC San Diego battered mistake-riddled Cal State San Bernardino in comfortably sweeping a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) baseball doubleheader at Fiscalini Field on Saturday.
Scores were 11-4 and 16-5 in seven innings as the host Coyotes managed to compile 11 fielding errors for seven unearned runs, 15 walks, eight wild pitches, four hit batsmen and a passed ball on the day. UCSD’s 16 runs on 17 hits in the nightcap were both season highs. Nick La Face, Scott Liske and Justin Rahn had home runs.
With the victories, UCSD improved to 25-21 overall and 19-17 in the CCAA. The Tritons also thus took the series, as the teams had split two games in La Jolla the previous two nights, with UCSD winning 7-3 on Thursday and CSUSB taking a 4-2 decision Friday. The Tritons still trail fourth-place Sonoma State (22-13) by three and a half games, however, as the Seawolves also swept their twin bill at Chico State. Cal State San Bernardino dropped to 16-28 overall and 10-26 in league play.
UCSD wraps up the regular season with a four-game series in Seaside against No. 12 Cal State Monterey Bay Friday through Sunday, May 3-5. The Tritons would have to sweep the Otters, winners of 12 straight at home and nine in a row overall heading into their series finale with Cal State Stanislaus on Sunday, and wait for Sonoma State to lose its last five games, beginning with Sunday night's finale (5:30 p.m.) with Chico State in Sacramento, for UCSD to have any chance to qualify for a 10th consecutive CCAA Championship Tournament as four-time defending champions. Only the No. 4 seed is now available to them.
UCSD did, however, enter this weekend No. 6 in the first NCAA West poll, with the top six teams in that ranking qualifying for the NCAA West Regional.
UCSD got on the board early as Danny Susdorf led off the game with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Liske. Richard Seigel was hit by a Ruben Rios pitch, and Dillon Moyer followed with an RBI single through the left side. As Rios fanned Rahn, the Tritons executed a double steal, with Seigel trotting home on a throwing error by Coyote catcher Michael Castello.
The Coyotes loaded the bases in the second on a pair of one-out singles around a walk, and tied the game via back-to-back free passes drawn by Castello and Aaron Beckley. Dan Kolodin was able to get out of the jam with no further damage done as the sophomore right-hander got Curtis Cassise to ground into a 6-3 double play.
The Tritons went right back to work, as Liske was plunked to open the third, Seigel singled, and both advanced on a third error in as many frames by CSUSB. Moyer walked to load the bases, and after a fielder’s choice knocked out Liske as the lead runner at the plate, another fielder’s choice grounder sent Seigel home. On a third successive fielder’s choice play, a fourth Coyote miscue left everyone safe and Moyer in for a 4-2 advantage. After Rios hit a third batter to load the bases again, he got a called third strike for the third out.
Susdorf singled up the middle and swiped second to begin the fourth, but was left stranded at third.
Consecutive two-out walks got Kolodin in trouble again in the bottom half, and Beckley made him pay with an RBI single to center field.
The Tritons answered that score in the sixth when sophomore catcher Brett Levy was hit by Rios and came around on a sacrifice, Susdorf single and error.
The big seventh saw the Tritons bat around, accepting four free passes, all from Coyote reliever Kyle Abel, with a sixth error mixed in. All four runs were scored with two outs. La Face lifted his fourth home run of the year to left to plate Rahn, who had drawn a base on balls after a leadoff walk by Seigel was wiped out by a double-play grounder. The other two walks both later turned into runs on a Spencer Frazier single and yet another error.
Ho-Kyun Choi’s RBI single and a James Mossholder sacrifice fly capped the UCSD scoring in the ninth.
Kolodin (4-2) allowed three runs on six hits and a season-high six walks over 6.1 innings, striking out four. He retired six straight from the second to the fourth, and produced two 1-2-3 innings in the third and fifth with two groundouts and a strikeout in each. Adrian Orozco got the final eight outs with four on strikes.
La Face was 1-for-5 with his home run and three RBI. He, Seigel, Levy and Garrett Tuck scored two runs apiece. Susdorf was 2-for-4 with a run, walk and stolen base.
Rios (3-6) went four full frames, allowing four runs, two of them earned, on three hits and two walks. The sophomore right-hander struck out three.
The teams combined for 14 walks. Eight of them turned into runs. There were six double plays turned, three by each side. CSUSB finished with seven errors, four hit-by-pitches, four wild pitches and a passed ball. Six runs against were unearned.
Incredibly, it was more of the same in the second game as UCSD jumped all over the Coyotes with a four-run first. The home side pulled off the trifecta of a walk, error (two of each) and wild pitch. The contest began exactly like the first, with Susdorf drawing a leadoff walk. He moved to second on a failed pickoff by pitcher Taylor Valentine and scored on Liske’s second triple of the year. Seigel’s double plated Liske, with a wild pitch and a walk to Moyer putting Tritons at the corners. Rahn’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0. Moyer scooted around the bases for the final run of the inning on a steal, error and RBI single by Choi.
Two more infield errors and another wild pitch put Susdorf and Liske in scoring position with nobody out in the second. Seigel walked to load the bases and make it two straight innings with a walk, error and wild pitch for CSUSB. Back-to-back strikeouts and a popout kept the margin at four.
The Tritons put the result well out of doubt with a three-spot in the third and four more in the fourth, the latter frame culminating in a three-run blast to left center by Liske. It was his third of the year, all three coming over the last two weeks.
Cal State San Bernardino returned a slight bit of the favor in the home fourth with four unearned runs through an infield Triton error.
The sixth began double, single, single, double for UCSD before Rahn punctuated matters with a three-run home run, his third of the season, before an out was made.
Freshman right-hander Troy Cruz (5-2) received more than enough run support in winning his fifth straight start since joining the Triton rotation. The Chula Vista native went 6.0 innings, allowing five runs, just one of them earned, on eight hits and one walk while striking out five to equal his career high. He retired the side in order in the third and fifth. Trevor Scott tossed a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts.
Liske was 4-for-5 with a home run, triple, four runs, six RBI and a steal, falling a double short of the cycle. His hit, run and RBI totals were all single-game career highs for the senior. Susdorf was 3-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI, two steals and a career-high-tying four runs. Seigel was 2-for-2 with a double, RBI, two runs scored and a career-high-tying three walks. Moyer was 3-for-4 with a double, walk, two runs, two RBI and a stolen base. Rahn’s four RBI were a new career high.
Valentine (1-5) took the loss.
Triton Notes: UCSD leads the series since 2001, 38-17 … The doubleheader sweep marked UCSD’s fourth of 2013 and first on the road … Nick La Face has started 103 straight games … Richard Seigel has started 83 games in a row and made his 100th appearance for UCSD in game one … Dillon Moyer was in the cleanup spot for the first time this year, in both contests … La Face, Seigel and Moyer are the only Tritons to have started all 46 games in 2013 … Scott Liske has made 14 straight starts in right field and reached base safely in 16 games in a row … Spencer Frazier has made eight consecutive starts at second base … Dan Kolodin drew his ninth start on the mound in the first game … Kolodin got through five complete innings for the eighth straight start … Ho-Kyun Choi earned his first start of the year behind the plate in game two … Susdorf’s three steals on the day gave him a league-leading 26, matching his single-season career best from 2012 … Moyer’s two stolen bases on the day gave him 13 on the year, while Seigel upped his season total to eight in the opener … Liske’s hit-by-pitch in game one was his team-leading ninth … Adrian Orozco’s four strikeouts in game one were a career high … The Tritons reached a double-figure run total for the fifth and sixth time this year, all of them wins, and first time since Mar. 16 … Five of those six games have come on the road, having twice now eclipsed the 10-run marker in successive games away from home … The seven extra-base hits in the nightcap were a season high for UCSD.
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