UCSD Brings Hit Parade to Grand Canyon

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    UCSD continued scoring, putting up runs in three of the first five innings and taking a 4-0 lead with sophomore pitcher Tim Shibuya dealing on the mound. Holding on to their four-run advantage, the Tritons broke the game open in the top of the ninth with senior first baseman Matt Cantele coming up with a big two-run double in the 7-0 win.

    The Triton offense tallied 15 total hits with Albitz, Imeson, junior outfielder Robert Sedin and senior third baseman Josh Tanner recording multi-hit games. Shibuya held the Antelopes to four hits over eight shutout innings before senior Ryland MacFayden finished up the game, pitching a scoreless ninth.

    ‘Shibuya is a spectacular pitcher,’ Imeson said. ‘He has poise, good stuff, command and competes. His performance on the mound against Grand Canyon reflects the special type of pitcher he is.’

    UCSD’s lineup gave its second-game starter, redshirt junior Matt Rossman, a sizeable lead to work with in the second inning alone. The Tritons sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring nine runs ‘mdash; adding to their two scores in the first ‘mdash; and driving the Antelopes’ starting pitcher out of the game. With one out, junior catcher Kellen Lee started the Triton rally with a single that sparked the eight-hit inning. Tanner singled twice for UCSD, scoring once and driving in two runners, helping UCSD to an 11-0 lead.

    ‘Our offense can catch fire at any time,’ Albitz said. ‘All it takes is one person to get it going and the entire team joins in. That person has been Josh Tanner the last month. He has been the spark plug our team has needed since opening day. I don’t know where we’d be right now without his bat in the lineup and his glove at third base.’

    Scoring in four of the final five innings, the Tritons plated a season-high 20 runners, completing the feat in a seven-inning game.

    The crooked numbers continued into the second game of the day as the Tritons put up a four-spot in the top of the first inning in what would be UCSD and Grand Canyon’s final game of the series. As the first four batters in the Triton lineup, Albitz, Imeson, Kehoe and Cantele all hit safely in the opening inning and contributed nine of UCSD’s 13 total hits in the game.

    ‘We knew that if we did our job on offense, we would score runs and take some pressure off our pitching staff,’ Kehoe said. ‘Our hitters did a great job of hitting barrel heads all weekend.’

    The Tritons scored one run in each of the next two innings, giving them a 6-0 advantage, leading to the 9-4 win.

    Seven Tritons hit for extra bases in the game, including Albitz, whose triple in the second inning was his first of the season. Winning pitcher senior Trevor Decker allowed one run over five innings for his fifth victory.

    The fourth game of the series, scheduled for April 12, was cancelled due to inclement weather.

    With the sweep, UCSD (25-8, 19-5 CCAA) remains in first place in conference with a three-game lead over Sonoma State University and Cal State Los Angeles. UCSD will now face fourth-place Cal State Dominguez Hills (25-16, 14-10 CCAA) for two games at home ‘mdash; where the Tritons have a 10-game winning streak ‘mdash; and two on the road.

    ‘Cal State Dominguez Hills is going to be a solid CCAA team, much like the rest of our conference,’ Imeson said. ‘As long as we stick to our game and attack their weaknesses we will have a good series. Playing at home is always great. Weather, supportive fans and a great field make us very happy to be home.’

    Readers can contact Janani Sridharan at [email protected].

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    BASEBALL ‘mdash; Rain may have cancelled the Tritons’ final game against Grand Canyon University last Saturday but it was UCSD’s lineup that poured on the hits last weekend in Arizona. The No. 6 Tritons outscored the Antelopes 36 runs to nine in the shortened series on April 9 and 10, including a 20-5 bashing in the second match. The Tritons faced little opposition in the bookend games as well, shutting the Antelopes out 7-0 to start the three-game set and closing out the matchup with a 9-4 victory.

    Following the series, UCSD was ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Division-II West Regional poll of the season. The Tritons will take that top ranking into conference play April 16 and 17 at home against Cal State Dominguez Hills ‘mdash; ranked sixth in the recent poll ‘mdash; still sitting atop the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings.

    Wasting no time against the Antelopes, junior shortstop Vance Albitz led off the series with a single to right field. With senior second baseman Garrett Imeson up to bat, Albitz stole second, setting the stage for Imeson’s RBI single to centerfield that gave the Tritons a 1-0 lead.

    ‘Our offensive approach was to grind the pitching staff out,’ Imeson said. ‘We knew they didn’t have a very deep bullpen, so jumping on them early was a priority.’

    UCSD continued scoring, putting up runs in three of the first five innings and taking a 4-0 lead with sophomore pitcher Tim Shibuya dealing on the mound. Holding on to their four-run advantage, the Tritons broke the game open in the top of the ninth with senior first baseman Matt Cantele coming up with a big two-run double in the 7-0 win.

    The Triton offense tallied 15 total hits with Albitz, Imeson, junior outfielder Robert Sedin and senior third baseman Josh Tanner recording multi-hit games. Shibuya held the Antelopes to four hits over eight shutout innings before senior Ryland MacFayden finished up the game, pitching a scoreless ninth.

    ‘Shibuya is a spectacular pitcher,’ Imeson said. ‘He has poise, good stuff, command and competes. His performance on the mound against Grand Canyon reflects the special type of pitcher he is.’

    UCSD’s lineup gave its second-game starter, redshirt junior Matt Rossman, a sizeable lead to work with in the second inning alone. The Tritons sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring nine runs ‘mdash; adding to their two scores in the first ‘mdash; and driving the Antelopes’ starting pitcher out of the game. With one out, junior catcher Kellen Lee started the Triton rally with a single that sparked the eight-hit inning. Tanner singled twice for UCSD, scoring once and driving in two runners, helping UCSD to an 11-0 lead.

    ‘Our offense can catch fire at any time,’ Albitz said. ‘All it takes is one person to get it going and the entire team joins in. That person has been Josh Tanner the last month. He has been the spark plug our team has needed since opening day. I don
    ‘t know where we’d be right now without his bat in the lineup and his glove at third base.’

    Scoring in four of the final five innings, the Tritons plated a season-high 20 runners, completing the feat in a seven-inning game.

    The crooked numbers continued into the second game of the day as the Tritons put up a four-spot in the top of the first inning in what would be UCSD and Grand Canyon’s final game of the series. As the first four batters in the Triton lineup, Albitz, Imeson, Kehoe and Cantele all hit safely in the opening inning and contributed nine of UCSD’s 13 total hits in the game.

    ‘We knew that if we did our job on offense, we would score runs and take some pressure off our pitching staff,’ Kehoe said. ‘Our hitters did a great job of hitting barrel heads all weekend.’

    The Tritons scored one run in each of the next two innings, giving them a 6-0 advantage, leading to the 9-4 win.

    Seven Tritons hit for extra bases in the game, including Albitz, whose triple in the second inning was his first of the season. Winning pitcher senior Trevor Decker allowed one run over five innings for his fifth victory.

    The fourth game of the series, scheduled for April 12, was cancelled due to inclement weather.

    With the sweep, UCSD (25-8, 19-5 CCAA) remains in first place in conference with a three-game lead over Sonoma State University and Cal State Los Angeles. UCSD will now face fourth-place Cal State Dominguez Hills (25-16, 14-10 CCAA) for two games at home ‘mdash; where the Tritons have a 10-game winning streak ‘mdash; and two on the road.

    ‘Cal State Dominguez Hills is going to be a solid CCAA team, much like the rest of our conference,’ Imeson said. ‘As long as we stick to our game and attack their weaknesses we will have a good series. Playing at home is always great. Weather, supportive fans and a great field make us very happy to be home.’

    Readers can contact Janani Sridharan at [email protected].

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