Staying Hot

    The Tritons faced a rough start to this season, but the end couldn’t have gone any smoother, as the team cruised to their third straight CCAA regular season title over the weekend. UCSD swept Cal State San Bernardino to run their winning streak to 17 games.

    “I can’t say enough about our team,” head coach Dan O’Brien said after clinching the title. “We’re led by an incredible senior class. We had a tough start to the season, and we faced a lot of adversity dealing with the pressures and expectations. After a tough loss about six weeks ago, the guys got together and made a decision that that’s not the way the season’s going to go. And here we are.”

    The Tritons finished the regular season 38-12 overall and 29-11 in the CCAA.

    “The CCAA Championship this year is pretty special,” O’Brien said. “This is the best I’ve seen the conference in the 11 years that I’ve been around, and these guys have a lot to be proud of.”

    May 5

    UC San Diego 4, Cal State San Bernardino 1

    Tim Shibuya pitched eight solid innings to get his 10th win of the year, and the Tritons took the opening game of the series.

    Shibuya (10-3) allowed six hits and one run in eight innings while striking out six and walking one. Reliever Daniel Simmons pitched the ninth for his third save of the year.

    The Tritons got on the board with RBI singles from first baseman Blake Tagmyer and right fielder Kyle Saul in the first inning. Left fielder Aaron Bauman and center fielder Danny Susdorf also had an RBI apiece in the game.

    May 6

    UC San Diego 10, CSUSB 4

    UCSD used a five-run third inning — and five RBI from Blake Tagmyer — to clinch their third consecutive CCAA regular season title.

    Cal State San Bernardino opened up the scoring with an RBI in the first inning off Triton starter Guido Knudson, but the Tritons responded in the bottom of the third, plating five runs off five hits. Blake Tagmyer had a two RBI double, Kyle Saul had an RBI single and second baseman Matt Hubbard knocked in two more before the damage was done.

    Tagmyer hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, his first of the year.

    Cal State San Bernardino responded with three runs in the top of the fourth to bring the score to 5-4, but the Coyotes only had two more hits the rest of the game. Knudson (8-3) went six innings and gave up all four runs — three of them earned — to win his fifth straight start. Justin Burns, Tony York and Eric Abraham kept the Coyote bats quiet the rest of the game.

    May 7 (Game 1)

    UC San Diego 3, CSUSB 2

    Pinch hitter Nick Hom knocked in the go-ahead run with a double in the top of the ninth, and the Tritons held on to take the first game of the doubleheader.

    Up 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Cal State San Bernardino’s David Silvas hit a double and advanced to third on a groundout. The Tritons brought in reliever Elias Tuma, but could not prevent the runner from scoring, and the Coyotes tied the game on an RBI single.

    But with two outs in the ninth, the Tritons got back-to-back doubles from Bauman and Hom to take the lead. Simmons pitched a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save.

    May 7 (GAME 2)

    UCSD 7, CSUSB 6

    UCSD took the lead in the top of the last inning for the second straight game as the Tritons eliminated the Coyotes from playoff contention.

    The Tritons put up four runs in the fourth, but the Coyotes came back with five runs in their half of the inning. Triton starter Jeff Ruah was knocked out of the game after giving up three runs in three and one-third innings. His replacement, Tony York, did not fare any better and gave up three runs without getting an out. Reliever Justin Burns finally got out of the fourth inning, but UCSD trailed 6-5.

    UCSD tied the game in the sixth inning thanks to a Susdorf single, and a balk allowed pinch runner Scott Liske to score to give the Tritons the lead in the seventh inning.

    Tuma pitched the seventh inning — the last of the game — to pick up his seventh save of the season.

    The Tritons now head to the CCAA Tournament in Stockton, Calif. from May 12 to May 14. As the top seed, the Tritons will place fourth-seed Cal Poly Pomona in the first round. UCSD is 3-1 against Pomona this season.

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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