Tritons Open Season with Dominant Series Sweep

Photo by Siddharth Atre
Photo by Siddharth Atre

No. 15 UCSD debuts new Triton ballpark in perfect start against Western Oregon.

Photo by Siddharth Atre
Photo by Siddharth Atre

After a long offseason, the No. 15 nationally ranked UCSD baseball team opened its 2015 season with a four-game sweep of Western Oregon University in the new Triton Ballpark last Sunday through Tuesday. The 4–0 start is the best starting record for the Tritons since moving up to Division-II in 2001 and earned the 100th win for head coach Eric Newman.

Senior southpaw Trevor Scott and sophomore outfielder Jack Larsen were awarded the season’s first weekly California Collegiate Athletic Association Honors for their work in the series as well. It is the first time both players have been recognized with the award.

Scott started on the mound for the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader and threw six frames straight with four hits, no walks and no runs allowed in what would be a 4–0 UCSD shutout victory. Larsen broke out on offense in the same game, getting three hits out of four appearances at the plate to include two doubles, two RBIs and a home run.

“It’s a huge honor to be able to open as a senior in this ballpark,” Scott told the UCSD Athletics Department. “This team is ready to rock ’n’ roll, our lineup is very solid, our bullpen looks as solid as it ever has.”

Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher John Erhardt and senior left-hander Chad Rieser joined Scott on the mound for the 4–0 opener against the Wolves, marking the first time the new field saw action. Single runs from redshirt freshman left fielder Justin Flatt, sophomore center-fielder Brandon Shirley and sophomore shortstop Tyler Howsley combined with Larsen’s homer to produce the Tritons’ four runs. Scores came in pairs with two coming in the fifth and another two scored the seventh frame.

Howsley was the first Triton to cross the plate in the 2015 campaign and in the new ballpark as he tallied a run off Shirley’s double in the fifth.

UCSD powered past the Wolves 8–3 in the second game with five of those runs tallied in the second inning alone. Junior right-hander Alon Leichman faced 21 batters across four frames with six hits, three runs and three strikeouts before being replaced by senior right-hander Javier Carrillo Jr. for the final two innings. Carillo faced nine batters and finished the game with two hits and no runs.

Monday’s 12–5 win in the third game of the Western Oregon series marked Newman’s 100th victory since he took the reigns of the program four years ago.

“Right now, we’re playing well,” Newman told the UCSD Athletics Department. “The guys have really bought in to what we’re trying to do. The lineup is working together, they’re seeing pitches, they’re working for each other, they’re passing the at-bats along and that just allows us to get into that rhythm and flow offensively.”

Senior first-baseman Michael Mann hit a bases-loaded triple in the first to start an offensive onslaught that tallied 12 runs in the first three innings. Senior right-hander Dan Kolodin earned his first win of the season after pitching five frames with three hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Kolodin sat the Wolves down in order across the opening three.

With such a large lead, the Tritons sent freshman right-hander Jack Rupe Jr. to relieve Kolodin for the sixth and seventh. Rupe fared well in his first college contest, earning his six outs on ground balls, including a double play. Sommer managed a strikeout during his rotation and closed out the game.

The Tritons fourth and final win of the season came on Tuesday night with a 5–1 victory against Western Oregon University. Junior All-American right-hander Troy Cruz started on the mound and threw six innings allowing one run on six singles with three strikeouts.

On offense, Flatt and Shirley both batted in two runs off four and five appearances, respectively. Shirley’s two RBIs came from a two-run homer in the eighth.

UCSD continues its opening 11-game homestand against No. 5 Colorado Mesa University on Friday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. Colorado Mesa, last year’s national runner-up, will pose a significant challenge to the Tritons in spite of their hot start to the year.

“They are the runners-up, and they’re fifth in the nation,” Shirley said. “We’ll see. It’ll be a tough series. It won’t be a blowout. It’ll be close games, and that’s what we need. We’ll probably face them later on if we make it to [nationals] in Cary.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The UCSD Guardian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *