Baseball opens at home, splits first doubleheader

    The UCSD men’s baseball team opened its season at home last weekend, squaring off against California Baptist University in a doubleheader Saturday.

    Lyon Liew
    Guardian

    In the first game, the Tritons lost 5-4 after mounting a furious but failed comeback in the ninth inning.

    The Tritons took the early lead after sophomore centerfielder Matt Smith singled, stole second, then scored on a single by junior Chad Addison.

    UCSD starting pitcher Keith Smith struggled in the second inning, giving up a run on four hits before stranding two Lancers on base.

    However, the Tritons got it back in the bottom of the inning, taking a 2-1 lead after John Bologna singled to score David Hawk.

    But in the Lancers’ next at bat, designated hitter Esteban Enriquez homered off Smith to tie the game at two apiece.

    Cal Baptist then struck again in the fifth inning, scoring two runs before reliever Rafael Bergstrom came in to close the inning.

    With two outs in the seventh inning, the Lancers stroked three consecutive singles to take a 5-2 lead.

    But that would be Cal Baptist’s last run, because Addison scored off a Keith Hernandez single to decrease the deficit to two runs.

    After relievers James Sanders and Andy Hanau combined to shut out the Lancers for the last two innings, the Tritons came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, needing two runs to send the game into extra innings.

    Smith led the inning with a walk, then advanced to third after Addison singled through the right side. Third baseman Ryan Larson then brought Smith home on a sacrifice fly to center, placing the Tritons within one run of the Lancers. After Jeff Riddle hit into a fielder’s choice, Hernandez then flied out to left field to end the game.

    The next game started much the same way as the first, with UCSD jumping ahead to an early lead against the Lancers. However, this time the Tritons prevailed 5-1 behind the strong pitching of John Beaven, who limited Cal Baptist to three hits and one unearned run, while handing out only two walks to the Lancers

    UCSD took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when designated hitter Matt Merrifield was hit by Lancer pitcher Teddy Sutton. After second baseman Anthony Lococo advanced Merrifield to second, a balk by Sutton moved him over to third with one out. Hawk then came through again for the Tritons with a sacrifice fly to account for UCSD’s first run.

    Cal Baptist tied it up in the top of the fifth inning after Riddle’s throwing error allowed Lancer Dan Mahaffie to score.

    However, in the bottom of the inning, the Tritons picked up Riddle, scoring four runs to nail the coffin on Cal Baptist. Merrifield’s two-run double and Hawk’s two-run home run capped a four-run inning for the Tritons to place the game out of reach for the Lancers.

    From there it was all Beaven; he shut out Cal Baptist for the next two innings, finishing with six strikeouts in seven innings.

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