UCSD splits home series against SFSU

    UCSD baseball hosted California Collegiate Athletic Association opponent San Francisco State last weekend. The No. 21-ranked Tritons split the series with the Gators, dropping the series opener 2-1 and the closer 6-0, but winning both games of the doubleheader, 7-0 and 5-1.

    Lyon Liew

    In the opener, UCSD scored its only run in the first inning when the Tritons’ Jeff Riddle singled to right field, scoring Matt Smith who had singled and stolen second before Riddle’s at-bat.

    Clinging to a one-run lead almost the entire game, UCSD was unable to hold off SFSU. The Gators plated two runs in the eighth inning to take the victory.

    Though he picked up the loss for UCSD, freshman starter Jose Navarro (3-5) had another strong outing, striking out seven Gator batters and allowing just five hits in the game.

    SFSU pitcher Andrew Vasquez threw a five-hit complete game and improved to 5-3 on the season.

    Determined to fight back, the Tritons came out strong in the April 5 doubleheader, where they blanked the Gators in the second game of the series 7-0.

    UCSD put up 13 hits in the game, including a two-run home run from David Hawk in the fifth, a triple from Nigel Miller in the top of the first and doubles from Matt Merrifield, Aaron Detty and Damian Fante.

    Triton hurler Raf Bergstrom threw his second complete-game shutout of the year, allowing just six Gator hits. Bergstrom improved to 5-0 with the victory.

    In the seven-inning third game, the second of the doubleheader, UCSD freshman pitcher Byron Grubman gave another stellar performance, striking out four batters and giving up just one run on five hits. He leads the Triton pitching staff with a perfect 7-0 record.

    UCSD put up three runs in the third inning of the game. Fante doubled down the left field line, driving in two runs. Keith Albrecht drove in the third run of the inning with a single.

    The Tritons also scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Brett Burton stole home plate in the fourth to put UCSD ahead 4-1.

    Fante went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, while catcher Matt Kennison went 2-for-3.

    Though not apparent to most, the Tritons have sustained some injuries, keeping some players from being able to function in their normal roles. Reshuffling both the batting lineup and defensive positions has presented UCSD head coach Dan O’Brien and the team with some difficulty.

    “”We have suffered some big losses lately, but we will just use it as an opportunity for us to get better as a team and prove that we are very good at reacting to adversity,”” O’Brien said.

    In game four, UCSD was unable to muster up any runs as they lost the series finale 6-0 to San Francisco State.

    The Gators scored three runs in the second inning, two in the fourth, and an additional run in the fifth to seal their victory.

    In his second start, UCSD freshman pitcher Justin Suarez gave up five runs in 3.1 innings. Suarez picked up the loss and fell to 0-1 on the season.

    UCSD remains atop the CCAA with a record of 18-10, 24-16 overall.

    The Tritons travel north to take on Chico State in a four-game series this weekend, beginning on April 11. Chico is currently in third place in the CCAA with a record of 14-10.

    “”It should be a weekend that will be a match up of two very similar teams,”” O’Brien said.

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