Tritons split four-game series with Toros

    The UCSD baseball team continued its quest to prove itself in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, winning two games against California State University Dominguez Hills last week, bringing its record to 8-7-1 overall.

    On Thursday, the Tritons took on the Toros in the first of a four-game set and dispatched Dominguez Hills 9-2 with the strong pitching of ace John Beaven and the big bat of senior third baseman Ryan Larson.

    Larson hit a solo shot in the second inning to break the scoreless tie, then added a two-run home run in the very next inning, in which the Tritons erupted for six runs to take a 7-0 lead. That would be more than enough — Beaven went seven and one-third of an inning to pick up the victory, giving up five hits and striking out five Toro hitters to hand Dominguez Hills the loss in its CCAA season opener.

    The two teams met again the next day, playing their second game on the Tritons’ home field before traveling to Carson, Calif. on Saturday for a doubleheader to close out the four-game series.

    UCSD again jumped on the Toros early, taking advantage of a Jeff Riddle RBI single and a Dominguez Hills error to grab a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The fifth inning featured a three-run double by Chad Addison as part of the six-hit Triton attack that saw every UCSD batter come to the plate.

    Keith Smith went six innings to earn his second win of the season, and Jeff Riddle, Matt Smith, Keith Hernandez and Philip Betsch each contributed two hits for the Tritons, who improved to 4-2 in the CCAA with the victory.

    However, on Saturday the Tritons found the Toros to be less gracious hosts than guests, as Dominguez Hills swept UCSD 11-4 and 11-0.

    Triton left-fielder John Bologna started off the game with a home run, yet that would be the only lead the Tritons would have the whole game.

    UCSD starting pitcher Alexander Cremidan was hurt by four Triton errors and lasted only five innings while giving up six runs — two earned — and nine hits.

    In the second game, the Toro pitching was too much for UCSD, with three pitchers combining to throw a three-hitter for the 11-0 shutout.

    Edgar Esqueda finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 for the Toros, while Riddle came up with two of the three UCSD hits — the third courtesy of Smith.

    UCSD, picked to finish 10th in the 11-team CCAA conference, now stands at 4-4 in league action and next takes on Division I San Diego State University Feb. 20.

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