LA JOLLA, Calif. - With a school record 54 wins, the UC San Diego baseball team lit up its competition in 2010. In 2011, opponents will literally be lit up as Triton Ballpark boasts a newly installed lighting system. On Saturday, history was made as the team played the first ever night game at the venue.
Prior to the exhibition against Point Loma Nazarene, guests of the "Light it Up" celebration were treated to a BBQ dinner served up on Triton Ballpark's infield. Several speakers addressed the crowd of well over 250 and a video highlighting UCSD's 2010 trip to Cary, N.C. for the national championships was shown on a huge, inflatable screen set up in center field. Following the video, which was put together by former player Sean Greer, the switch was flipped and Triton Ballpark was engulfed in artificial light for the first time in its history.
Among the speakers was former player Erik Judson ('91), who was a senior on the first team to play on the current field. Also addressing the crowd was Jim Morris, co-founder of the UCSD Athletic Board and host of the "Light it Up" event.
Gary Jacobs ('79), who, along with Bill Scripps, was responsible for the lead gift to finance the lighting project, was presented a framed jersey signed by the team by UCSD head coach Dan O'Brien.
"It was an electric night, a night I'll remember forever as a Triton alum," said O'Brien, the 2009 and 2010 National Coach of the Year. "I'm proud of our current guys, how hard they worked to make tonight happen and how hard and passionate they played."
To cap off the historical night, the Tritons defeated the Sea Lions, 5-0.
"It was obviously an incredible night for the Triton baseball program, but also for the entire Athletics Department," said UCSD Senior Associate Athletics Director Ken Grosse, who served as the event's emcee. "The hard work of Coach O'Brien, his staff and players and the generosity of supporters like Gary (Jacobs), Bill (Scripps) and Jim (Morris) has demonstrated that a combination of passion, vision and commitment can produce amazing results - on and off the field."
UCSD, ranked second in the nation, plays a final preseason game under the lights on Tuesday, Feb. 1 against San Diego Christian College at 6 p.m. Admission is free to the scrimmage.
The first official regular season night game at Triton Ballpark will take place on Friday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. as UCSD kicks off a four game series against Western Oregon.
Tickets for all home games are available at Triton Ballpark one hour prior to start time. Admission is free for UCSD students with a valid ID.
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