Baseball is in a tie for second place

    UCSD baseball finished its four-game series against Grand Canyon University on March 9. The Tritons lost the first two games of the series 6-5 and 4-3, but came back to win the last two games 7-1 and 12-4.

    In the last game, UCSD took an early fall behind Grand Canyon, which jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but managed to begin its offensive assault in the top of the fifth inning.

    After putting up one run in the fifth, UCSD exploded and put up three runs in the sixth, with singles coming from Triton first baseman/third baseman Matt Merrifield, center fielder David Hawk and right fielder Brett Burton. Shortstop Keith Hernandez hit his second double of the day and drove in the third run of the inning.

    The eighth and ninth innings were more of the same. In the eighth, the Tritons put together a string of four hits by Burton, Hernandez, pinch hitter Keith Albrecht and designated hitter Damian Fante, tacking on three additional runs. In the ninth, UCSD secured its victory when catcher/first baseman Jeff Riddle led off the inning with a single up the middle. Hernandez singled through the left side, scoring Riddle, and pinch hitter Matt Kennison singled down the right-field line, plating Hernandez.

    “”We are playing pretty good baseball right now,”” said UCSD head coach Dan O’Brien. “”We definitely can get better, and we [are] looking to eliminate some mistakes and be more consistent. But we played pretty well in the end, and while we are not content with the outcome, we will take the two wins and move on.””

    In the game, Hernandez went 3-for-5, including a pair of run-scoring doubles, and Burton and Merrifield added four and three hits, respectively.

    The Tritons stole a total of nine bases in the game. Riddle, Hawk, Burton, Hernandez and Albrecht each stole one base while Fante stole three on the day.

    “”We always pride ourselves on being a great baserunning team,”” O’Brien said earlier this year. “”We feel like if we can steal some free bags, we don’t have to sacrifice bunt, and we can stay out of double plays. We have great baserunners in this program.””

    UCSD pitcher Andy Holloway (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, throwing 4.2 innings of relief for starter Tommy Sereno.

    To play a game that was rescheduled for March 11 due to rain, the Tritons traveled to face the Concordia Eagles in a single nonconference game.

    Triton pitcher Raf Bergstrom (3-0) took the mound for UCSD and earned the victory as the Tritons crushed Concordia 13-6.

    After four innings of play, the Tritons were down 3-2, but in the top of the fifth again, the UCSD bats awoke, putting up four runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead.

    The Eagles put up two runs in the sixth in an attempt to overtake the Tritons, but UCSD put up single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to increase their lead.

    UCSD put up five more runs in the ninth to pull away from the Eagles and secure its victory.

    The Tritons compiled 12 hits in the game. Merrifield went 2-for-5 with a double, while Riddle and left-fielder John Bologna each had two hits in the game.

    UCSD is now 10-6 in the CCAA and 14-11 overall. The Tritons are tied for second place in the CCAA with UC Davis and Cal State Los Angeles. UCSD begins its series with CSU Dominguez Hills on March 13 and completes the series at home on March 15 at noon.

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