UCSD Sweeps Home Series

Jimmy Kan/Guardian File

The No. 3 UCSD baseball team completed a four-game sweep of No. 18 Western Oregon University last weekend. The Tritons showcased an even balance of offense and pitching over the weekend, proving themselves a worthy of a top seed in the conference.

The Tritons improve to 5-1 overall, and the Wolves fell to 0-4.

On Friday, the Tritons set the tone for the series, opening with back-to-back home runs off the bats of senior shortstop Vance Albitz and senior outfielder Robert Sedin. They won the game 12-6.

“We had a pretty solid weekend all around,” senior pitcher Matt Rossman said. “We came out on Friday and knocked around their guy pretty good, and set the tone for the weekend.”

Albitz was a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-5 with an RBI and a run. Junior outfielder Aaron Bauman, a Santa Barbara City College transfer, was key to the offense, going 3-4 with a pair of runs and RBIs. UCSD had a stellar offense showing overall, giving junior right-hander Tim Shibuya plenty of breathing room. He finished the day with seven innings of work, giving up four earned runs with a walk and a couple strikeouts.

On Sunday, the Tritons hosted a double-header with Western Oregon for the midsection of the series. Junior closer Guido Knudson earned the first victory, hurling two scoreless frames and striking out two. Senior right-hander Matt Rossman started the game for UCSD, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing one earned run while striking out seven.

Daniel Caddell/Guardian

In the bottom half of the fifth, junior third baseman Evan Kehoe and senior first baseman Brandon Gregorich got on base with back-to-back singles and one out. When junior outfielder Kyle Saul stepped up to bat, he promptly drove a three-run shot over the left field fence to give UCSD the 3-1 lead.

UCSD was threatened in the seventh after Western Oregon scored an unearned run, taking the score to 3-2. However, they couldn’t manage to score the insurance runs they needed to pad the lead, and soon found themselves down 4-3 heading into the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth the Tritons rallied. Leadoff hitter Saul was hit by a pitch, followed by a single from Junior catcher Michael Benton. Bauman, next to the plate, reached on a misplayed sacrifice bunt, and redshirt freshman Danny Susdorf — a transfer from the University of San Diego — tied the game up 4-4 with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score Saul.

The inning ended exactly how it started, as Sedin was hit by a pitch, giving the Tritons the walk-off 5-4 win.

The second game featured a dominant pitching performance by junior right-hander Daniel Simmons. He hurled a complete game, tossing seven innings of one run ball while allowing just five hits and striking out eight Wolves. Benton hit a two-run shot, providing all the offense necessary for the Tritons to win the game 6-1.

The Tritons looked to complete the four-game sweep at Triton Ballpark on Monday. An offensive explosion gave them an impressive 19-5 win. Each of the batters in the Triton lineup had at least two hits apiece, and the lineup finished 22-38 with a .539 batting average.

Gregorich, Bauman and Benton all homered in the game, as Gregorich led the attack, going 3-3 with five RBIs. Senior right-hander Kirby St. John earned the win, improving to 1-1, tossing five innings, allowing five runs and striking out six.

Inspite of the emphatic series win, Rossman says the team is taking things one step at a time.

“We’ve got a talented group of guys that have been working hard since September,” he said. “The preparation is there. Now we just need to concentrate on the task at hand, take everything one pitch at a time, and let our preparation take over.”

The Tritons take to the diamond again this Friday, when they will host Grand Canyon University in a double-header at Triton Ballpark. First pitch is slotted for 11 a.m.

Readers can contact Cameron Tillisch at [email protected].

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