Baseball continues to surprise

    Picked to finish 10th out of the 11 teams in the preseason California Collegiate Athletic Association poll, the UCSD baseball team continues to prove its critics wrong and currently sits high atop the CCAA standings.

    During the break, the Tritons won two series to capture second place in the CCAA. UCSD took three of four games from Grand Canyon University and later took two of three from San Francisco State University on a four-game road trip. The Tritons were 22-11-1 heading into Sunday’s final game against San Francisco State. At press time, results were unavailable from that game.

    The Tritons have vastly improved from their sixth-place finish last year due to a seasoned pitching staff and some new integral bats in the lineup.

    Senior hurlers John Beaven and Keith Smith and junior pitcher Alex Cremidan all share a team-high of five wins and have 49, 46 and 45 strikeouts, respectively.

    James Sanders leads UCSD relievers with a 1.59 ERA and Cremidan leads the starters with a 3.18 ERA.

    Aiding in the success of the team, the UCSD offense has been extremely consistent. The Tritons are out-hitting their opponents .293 to .279 and are also outscoring their opponents 212 to 155.

    Among the offensive leaders are senior second baseman Anthony Lococo, who has a .338 batting average, and junior center fielder Matt Smith, who is hitting .352 and has accumulated 29 runs, 25 RBIs and 45 hits so far this year.

    Third baseman Ryan Larson tops the squad with six home runs, while designated hitter Jeff Riddle follows close behind with four homers.

    Junior left fielder John Bologna leads the team on the base paths with 18 walks and 18 steals.

    With 16 league games remaining, UCSD is confident and is ready to face the rest of the competition this year.

    The Tritons kick off the spring season with a four-game home stand this weekend against Sonoma State University.

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