Tritons Lose No. 1 Ranking After Splitting Games with CSUMB

    Feb. 26 (Game 1)

    UC San Diego 8,

    Cal State Monterey Bay 3

    The Tritons tallied 13 hits to back up a complete game from Tim Shibuya (4-0), and Evan Kehoe and Kyle Saul each had two RBI.

    UCSD led 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh, but the Otters tallied three hits to score two runs. Shibuya got out of the jam, and the Otters left two on base. UCSD scored three runs in the top of eighth to put the game away.

    Garrett Tuck and Michael Benton each went 3-for-4, and Blake Tagmyer tallied two doubles. Five Tritons had a stolen base on the game.

    Feb. 26 (Game 2)

    Cal State Monterey Bay 5,

    UC San Diego 3

    The Otters tagged UCSD pitcher Guido Knudson (2-1) for five runs in the fifth inning, and the Tritons could not recover as Cal State Monterey Bay held on for the win.

    The Tritons opened the game strong, with two runs in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI single by Danny Susdorf, who also scored the second run off a wild pitch. Susdorf got another RBI in the third inning after his groundout plated Kyle Saul.

    Knudson recovered from his disastrous fifth inning to pitch seven innings, and took the loss for giving up five runs on six hits while striking out five. Tony York also pitched one inning of scoreless relief.

    Feb. 27 (Game 1)

    Cal State Monterey Bay 8, UC San Diego 7

    Triton starting pitcher Daniel Simmons had a rough outing, giving up seven runs on nine hits in just 3.1 innings, as UCSD lost two consecutive games for the first time in over a year.

    UCSD jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after two innings, with two RBI apiece from Susdorf and Tuck. But Monterey Bay responded with four runs in the third and three more in the fourth, cutting Simmons’s day short. Justin Burns came into relieve and allowed one run in 2.2 innings of work. York finished the day with two hitless innings.

    UCSD got back into the game at the top of the seventh, when Benton scored on an error and Tagmyer’s groundout plated Susdorf. The Tritons added another run in the eighth, but a one-two-three ninth allowed the Otters to hang on for the win.

    The last time the Tritons lost two games in a row was in Feb. 2010 against Chico State.

    Feb. 27 (Game 2)

    UC San Diego 4, Cal State Monterey Bay 3

    In a seven-inning game, UCSD used small-ball to get the win. With the score tied 3-3 heading into the seventh, Kyle Saul walked, stole second, then reached third on an error charged to CSUMB second baseman Danny Nelson. Susdorf then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score the go-ahead run.

    The Otters threatened to tie the game in their half of the inning, as reliever Jeff Rauh faced control issues. Rauh walked the first batter he faced, after which a passed ball allowed the runner to advance to second. After another walk and passed ball, Ruah faced runners on second and third with no outs. Ruah induced the next batter to pop up to Saul in right field, and Saul fired a bullet to the plate to retire the tagging runner. Ruah threw one more passed ball to put the tying run on third, but stuck out the final batter looking.

    Burns pitched 1.1 innings to get the win — his first as a Triton.

    The Tritons are now 12-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play, and have slipped to No. 3 in the national rankings.

    “We weren’t really happy with how we played,” head coach Dan O’Brien said. “I think our guys are doing a better job than people realize of dealing with the pressures of being on a team coming off back-to-back College World Series. But think this will make us stronger and we’re going to be more battle tested as the year goes on.”

    UCSD will return home to host San Francisco State for a four-game series on March 5-7. The first game is at Friday at 6 p.m.

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