SAN RAMON, Calif. - University of California San Diego redshirt freshman utility standout Keenan Brigman has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Baseball Player of the Week for the week of April 3-9.
With Brigman, UCSD now has four weekly honorees for 2017. Senior outfielder Jack Larsen earned the program's first distinction on Feb. 14. Sophomore first baseman Tyler Durna, the CCAA's leading hitter with his .429 average, is the league's only two-time winner among players or pitchers, recognized on March 7 and March 28.
Despite notching only two hits, Brigman played a huge role in then-seventh-ranked, now-fourth-ranked UCSD's come-from-behind, 2-1 series victory in La Jolla over then-top-ranked rival Chico State. The San Jose native (Valley Christian HS) who spent his freshman year at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, accounted for a team-best five RBI with the pair of two-out, opposite-field hits to right. His two-run single in a start in left field in Saturday's doubleheader nightcap rounded out the scoring in a five-run first that spurred the Tritons to a 7-0 shutout triumph. He then laced a pinch-hit, three-run triple inside the right field line in the fifth to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 advantage in Sunday's rubber game. UCSD went on to win it, 6-4.
Brigman thus more than doubled his season RBI output over the weekend, from four to nine. He is hitting .275 (19-for-69) in his first on-the-field season of college baseball, with two doubles and two triples. Among his 17 starts, eight have come at second base, seven in left field, one at shortstop, and one in right field.
Junior right-hander Jack Rupe, Jr. (San Marcos/Mission Hills HS), was nominated for CCAA Pitcher of the Week on the strength of his incredibly clutch start in game two of the Saturday twin bill during which he twirled five complete innings of shutout baseball with six hits and one walk against him, and two strikeouts. Cal State San Marcos' Taylor Ahearn, however, took it with 10.1 shutout frames and two wins.
Having completed its run through the CCAA North with a 12-5 mark, UC San Diego returns to CCAA South play this week, awaiting a four-game, split-venue series with two-time reigning West Region champion Cal Poly Pomona. The fierce foes will first square off in a pair of primetime affairs at Triton Ballpark in La Jolla on Thursday, April 13, and Friday, April 14. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. each night. The set concludes at Scolinos Field in Pomona on Saturday, April 15, with a 2 p.m. doubleheader. The Tritons are 3.5 games up on the second-place Broncos, who have ended their season in each of the past two years.