LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego allowed six unanswered runs after grabbing a 5-1 advantage and lost in 11 innings to Azusa Pacific University, 7-5, in non-conference baseball at Triton Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.
UCSD dropped to 20-18 overall following its 2013 non-conference finale, while Azusa Pacific improved to 11-26.
The visiting Cougars tallied the decisive runs on run-scoring singles, both up the middle with two outs and two strikes, by Tyler Putjenter and Mitch Dergazarian.
Tied at 1-1, junior rightfielder Scott Liske’s first home run of the year ignited a four-run Triton rally in the fourth, the other runs coming on a Cougar error, Richard Seigel sacrifice fly and a first-pitch Justin Rahn double to the gap in right center.
Azusa Pacific began its rally with a single tally in the fifth before leveling the score with a three-run eighth.
Rahn finished 4-for-5 with a double and one RBI, while Dillon Moyer was 3-for-5 with a walk and double. La Face, Liske and Danny Susdorf added two hits apiece, with La Face scoring a pair. Liske also made a sparkling defensive play in the second, sprinting toward the foul line to glove an extra-base bid by Richie Brown to lead off.
UCSD out-hit Azusa Pacific, 15-11, but left 14 men on base, including the bases loaded in both the second and third frames.
Blake Fassler threw the first 5.0 innings for UCSD, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk. He struck out one and retired the first seven batters he faced before a one-out single in the third by Dusty Sanderson. Troy Cruz (3-2) tossed the next 5.2 frames, giving up five runs, four of them earned, also on five hits and a walk. The freshman fanned five.
Nate Namanny (3-3) earned the win for APU through six complete innings of shutout relief. He allowed only four hits and one walk while striking out one.
Offensively, Dergazarian and Domenic Biagini each produced a couple of hits, with Putjenter and Ryan Henley both winding up with two RBI.
UCSD returns to California Collegiate Athletic Association play next weekend with 12 final regular-season dates, 10 of which come on the road. The Tritons first travel to take on the third-ranked and first-place Chico State Wildcats, Apr. 19-21.
Triton Notes: These teams had last met over a decade ago during the 2003 season, with UCSD sweeping a home-and-home series, 19-6 in La Jolla and 7-5 in Azusa … Nick La Face has started 95 straight games … La Face’s second-inning walk was his league-best 30th … Richard Seigel has started 75 games in a row … Blake Fassler started on the mound for the sixth time in a Triton uniform … La Face (10), Justin Rahn (5) and Dillon Moyer (13) all provided a double on the afternoon … Danny Susdorf’s two steals gave him a conference-best 23 on the year in 27 tries … Garrett Tuck’s fourth-inning steal was his second … Scott Liske’s home run was the sixth of his college career and first since May 11, 2012 … Corbin Wirta had his 10th sacrifice hit.