UCSD loses to cross-town rival

Coming off of a doubleheader victory last weekend, UCSD traveled across town on Feb. 4, where they faced rival Point Loma Nazarene University.

Jake Mumm
Guardian file photo

The Crusaders hit three home runs, including a game-winning, two-run home run by left fielder Brad Vericker, to defeat the Tritons 5-3.

UCSD pitcher Raf Bergstrom took the hill for the Tritons, pitching 5.1 innings and leaving the game losing 3-0.

“”I thought both sides pitched well,”” Bergstrom said. “”They hit to their field, and I made some mistakes. When they got the ball up, it went out. Unfortunately, [the game] came down to three pitches today.””

Though Point Loma came out on top and hit three home runs, the game was a pitcher’s duel. The Tritons notched just three runs on three hits, and the Crusaders recorded just five runs on five hits in the nine-inning match up.

Providing a pitcher’s perspective, Bergstrom said that the Crusaders knew how to work the ball around the corners of the plate.

“”Their pitchers used the umpire’s strike zone to their advantage,”” he said. “”They were getting some calls that were six to seven inches off the plate, but sometimes that’s how the game goes.””

Point Loma led 3-0 through seven innings on home runs from first baseman Adam McGrew and right fielder Ryan Hoover. However, UCSD came alive in the eighth, scoring three runs and putting pressure on the Crusaders.

Though not his night to throw in the rotation, Triton pitcher Andy Holloway commented on the play of his team.

“”We did a good job battling back when we tied it and scored three runs in the eighth,”” Holloway said. “”We had a chance to take the lead, but it was tough that they beat us on just three swings of the bat. It is crucial that we bear down on every pitch, and today was a perfect example of how the game can change on just one pitch.””

UCSD freshman pitcher Jose Navarro (0-1) recorded the loss for the Tritons after relieving Bergstrom in the sixth inning.

“”Jose [Navarro] had a lot of composure on the mound today,”” Holloway said. “”Especially as a freshman coming into the situation that he did, he pitched very well.””

Triton left fielder John Bologna, designated hitter Brett Burton and second baseman Nigel Miller had the only three hits for UCSD. For Point Loma, Vericker and Hoover each had home runs, McGrew went 2-4 with a home run, and second baseman Ralphie Marin also had a hit.

This early in the season, the Tritons are still working out some kinks in their play.

“”We need to be more consistent in both pitching and hitting,”” Bergstrom said. “”In the few games we’ve played, it has been one or the other. We’ve got to get better at putting both together and as the season continues, we will.””

UCSD squares off against Point Loma again on Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. at home, and is confident that the outcome of that game will be different.

“”We are going to come out on top,”” Bergstrom said. “”Alex [Cremidan] is starting, and it’s a whole different game at our field. I know our bats will come alive, and we’ll play a strong game.””

The Tritons continue their nonconference action against California Baptist in a doubleheader on Feb. 8.