Baseball drops two against CSULA

    The UCSD baseball team traveled to Los Angeles on March 1 to face CSU Los Angeles in a doubleheader to open its four-game series.

    The Tritons dropped both games to the Golden Eagles, 6-5 and 5-2.

    Scoreless through four innings in game one, UCSD got on the board first in the fifth inning after second baseman Nigel Miller singled to left field and drove in left fielder David Hawk.

    The Golden Eagles answered in the bottom half of the fifth, putting up two runs of their own to take the lead. Then, in the seventh, CSULA scored another two runs after third baseman Jeff Carroll doubled through the right side, second baseman Chris Nealon singled and center fielder Mike Miller doubled.

    Down by three in the top of the eighth inning, UCSD designated hitter John Bologna singled to left field and proceeded to steal second base. Then Triton right fielder Brett Burton singled to right field. With two aboard, last week’s California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week, catcher Jeff Riddle, smacked a home run to right center field, driving in three runs for UCSD to tie the game at four.

    UCSD scored again in the top of the ninth to recapture a one-run lead over CSULA. But in the bottom of the ninth, the Golden Eagles fought back, scoring two runs to snap the Tritons’ eight-game win streak.

    Triton pitcher James Sanders (1-2) took the loss for UCSD and Cameron Gianetti (1-2) earned the victory for the Golden Eagles.

    Offensive leaders for UCSD were center fielder Matt Smith, who went 2-for-5, and Nigel Miller, who went 2-for-3 with a double. Riddle’s home run was his fourth on the year.

    For CSULA, Mike Miller and left fielder Troy Young each had three hits, while shortstop Richard Balcazar, first baseman Tim Wilkerson and Carroll had two apiece.

    Coming off their game-one victory, the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead in the first inning against the Tritons. CSULA immediately put up two runs after Young hit a home run to right center field. CSULA put up another run in the bottom of the third and took a commanding 3-0 lead.

    UCSD scored its only two runs of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Hawk reached on an error. Triton shortstop Keith Hernandez singled, and then catcher Matt Kennison singled to left field, driving in Hawk. Nigel Miller singled to the pitcher, and Hernandez scored on a fielder’s choice.

    The Golden Eagles tacked on two additional runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure their 5-2 victory over the No. 14 Tritons.

    Triton freshman pitcher Jose Navarro (1-2) went 5.1 innings and took the loss for UCSD.

    Kennison led UCSD’s offense and went 2-for-3, while Smith, Hernandez and Nigel Miller each had one hit apiece.

    CSULA pitcher Eric Biddlecome (2-1) earned the victory, while closer Philip Springman picked up his fourth save of the year.

    Golden Eagles Balcazar and Wilkerson each had two hits, and four other CSULA batters tallied a mark in the hits column.

    UCSD falls to 10-7 overall, 7-3 in the CCAA, while CSULA improves to 8-8 overall, 7-3 in the CCAA.

    UCSD finished its series with CSULA on March 2 at Triton Baseball Stadium. The Tritons play cross-town rival Point Loma Nazarene at home on March 4, and then play eight road games before returning home to face CSU Dominguez Hills on March 15.

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