Tritons Seal Series With Dramatic Walk-Off Win

Ishir Talapatra, Assistant Opinion Editor


The UC San Diego Tritons (209, 102 Big West) gained an insurmountable 20 lead in the series over the UC Davis Aggies (1017, 3-9 Big West) with a thrilling ninth-inning walk-off victory. The packed Triton Ballpark witnessed a remarkable comeback, with Davis having entered the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead. 


The visiting Aggies got off to a red-hot start at the top of the first with a double. This was followed by an RBI double, but that base runner was not sent home as the Triton pitcher was able to get out of the bind.


The 10 lead lasted till the bottom of the third. Pitchers on both sides had spent the first few frames settling in. While they had miscues, they were able to get out of most innings before any runs were scored. The Tritons were waiting to break through, and a sacrifice fly allowed redshirt freshman center fielder Pierce Hackworth to be in prime scoring position at third. An RBI ground-out from Triton redshirt sophomore first baseman Doyle Kane, eventually responsible for the heroics in the bottom of the ninth, tied up the game to the La Jolla crowd’s delight.


The Aggies pulled ahead once again in the top of the fifth with an RBI single. To the dismay of the Tritons, the lead only grew from there; hits from the middle of the order hitters pushed UC Davis to a 41 lead at the top of the sixth, which saw the Triton relief pitcher struggle to get comfortable. 


A Triton comeback was clearly anticipated based on the ballpark’s spirited fans, though, and they were proven correct with some remarkable offensive baseball to close out the game. Despite the Aggies extending the Triton deficit to 4 at 5–1, a sac-fly from redshirt junior second baseman Crew Robinson made it a two-run game at the bottom of the sixth. Enthusiasm remained high after a bases-loaded walk of junior catcher Jack Gallagher made it 52. 


A comeback no longer seemed to be in the offing after the Tritons were retired in order at the bottom of the seventh and eighth. But some errant pitching in the bottom of the ninth helped get Robinson and Patrick Hackworth walked through being hit. Senior left fielder Michael Fuhrman, fresh off a walk-off win on Thursday evening, smacked a two-run RBI double down left field to make it 54. Sophomore third baseman Matt Halbach tied the game with a single down the right side, and it was Kane who sent a 10 pitch right back where it came from to bring Halbach home and secure a remarkable walk-off victory for the Tritons. 


Defensively, Izaak Martinez was in fine form. Still undefeated this season, Martinez pitched the final 2.1 innings and conceded no hits. Martinez, along with Kane (34 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI), senior catcher Emiliano Gonzalez (23 with a run scored), and Hackworth (24 with two runs scored), formed the top performers for the Tritons on a day to remember. The electric Triton home crowd never lost faith in these determined student-athletes, and the team rewarded them by finding a way to capture some magic after a mostly quiet day at the plate. 


The Tritons host the San Diego State Aztecs in a cross-town rivalry on Monday evening and visit them on Tuesday. They then spend the next weekend away at Hawaii University. After the Tritons lost their impressive 12 game win streak, they will look to once again string together some victories.