Tritons split against No. 5 Chico

    Fierce opponents in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 10 UCSD and No. 5 Chico State battled for victory in their four-game series on April 9 and April 10. On April 9, the Tritons took the opener 5-3 while the Wildcats stole the second game, 12-3.

    Greg Dale
    Hot hands:

    On April 10, for the second consecutive afternoon, the Tritons and Wildcats split their doubleheader. The Tritons inched out game-one over the Wildcats 5-4, but dropped the nightcap 7-1.

    In the first game, UCSD sophomore catcher David Morehead continued to swing the hot bat with a two-run home run, his sixth of the year, to left field to give the Tritons (22-12 overall, 17-10 CCAA) a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

    The Wildcats (25-8-1 overall, 18-7 CCAA) did not trail for long, however, as they posted three runs on four hits in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-2 lead. Chico State added another run to its lead in the bottom of the fifth when Wildcat shortstop Jorge Araiza singled home first baseman Jesus Bravo.

    With two outs in the UCSD sixth, senior shortstop Keith Hernandez walked and junior outfielder Matt Lawson singled to center field, advancing Hernandez to third. Senior first baseman Brian Robinson then delivered a double to left-center field, allowing Hernandez and Lawson to score and knot the game at 4-4.

    Triton junior pitcher Ryan Leake (4-2) came on to pitch the sixth inning and shut down the Wildcats in the frame.

    UCSD senior third baseman Alex Gascon delivered the go-ahead single in the seventh inning. After senior second baseman Ricky Pinocchio led off the UCSD seventh with a single and advanced to second on senior outfielder Craig King’s sacrifice bunt, Gascon singled through the left side, plating Pinocchio and in turn putting the Tritons back on top 5-4.

    Triton senior closer Shlomo Lipetz pitched UCSD out of a jam in the final frame to earn his sixth save of the season.

    In the second game, Chico State used a five-run fifth to earn a commanding lead in what was previously a tight game.The Wildcats won the game 7-1 and earned the four-game series split.

    With Chico State leading 1-0 in the fifth, UCSD junior hurler Jose Navarro (2-3) recorded two outs before allowing two more Wildcats to reach base. Lipetz came in for the Tritons, but this time Chico State posted the big hits. Wildcat pinch hitter Jay Hyland smacked a three-run home run off of Lipetz and put the Wildcats up 4-0. Just two batters later, Chico State’s Jorge Araiza homered down the left-field line, putting two more runs on the board.

    The Tritons were held scoreless through six and narrowly missed being shut out as they recorded a single run in their half of the seventh.

    In the 2005 CCAA preseason baseball poll, the Tritons and Wildcats were chosen as the teams that would be battling for the championship. The four-game series split between the two displayed both teams’ ability, talent and desire to come out on top.

    UCSD is back in action April 15 and April 16 when it takes on CCAA South Division-leading Cal Poly Pomona in a three-game series at Triton Baseball Field.

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