Baseball hangs tough with SDSU

The Triton baseball team returned home to face the University of La Verne in a non-conference match Feb. 23 after a 3-0 road loss to Division I San Diego State University on Wednesday night.

Guardian file photo

In the SDSU matchup, UCSD pitcher John Beaven pitched a perfect game for 4.1 innings, but Aztec first baseman Jonathan Stephens broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single in the fifth, and SDSU proceeded to score three times in the sixth to win.

Saturday’s game against La Verne saw an end to the Tritons’ three-game losing streak.

UCSD’s hitting slump came to an end during this game, with all nine Triton starters accumulating at least one hit each against the University of La Verne.

With the teams tied at one run apiece in the bottom of the second inning, UCSD put together a one-out, eight-run rally and never looked back.

With the bases loaded in the second inning, Triton Nigel Miller smacked a line drive double to left field and drove in three runs to initiate the UCSD offensive attack. Immediately after that, Triton left fielder John Bologna rocketed a triple to the fence in center field and drove in another run.

Triton designated hitter Brett Burton, who went 3-for-3 on the day with three runs, was hit by a pitch, and then center fielder Matt Smith singled to right, scoring Bologna on the play. Smith drove in three runs on three hits for UCSD.

Still in the second, with runners on first and second, UCSD catcher Jeff Riddle proceeded to knock a three-run home run over the right field fence. The five hits and eight runs in the second inning put the Tritons in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.

UCSD’s Bologna, who drove in two runs, scored three times in the game. He started off the sixth with a solo shot to left center field. Then, with two outs, Triton third baseman Ryan Larson doubled, followed by a single from first baseman Chad Addison to drive in two additional runs and add an insult to injury against the Leopards.

“”The eight-run inning in the second just goes to show that we can put a lot of runs on the board at any given time,”” Addison said.

UCSD starting pitcher Keith Smith went five innings with just two hits, one run, three strikeouts and two batters who were hit. He improves to 3-2 on the season. Raf Bergstrom, Robert Bush and Tyler Smith also pitched during the Triton victory Saturday.

With the 13-run, 16-hit victory, the Tritons improve to 9-8-1, while the Leopards fall to 5-3 on the year.

“”Today’s game was good for the team because it is always nice to have the offense and the defense on the same page,”” Addison said. “”Originally, we didn’t have the game on the schedule, but it was a great addition to allow the offense to get back into the swing of things. We are a very tough team to beat when our pitching and offense are working together.””

UCSD next squares off against 18th-ranked California State University San Bernardino in a four-game conference series this weekend starting with a game Thursday at Cal State San Bernardino.