Defending Big West Champs Tritons dominate against Stephen F. Austin

Defending Big West Champs Tritons dominate against Stephen F. Austin
Photo by Sarah He/ UCSD Guardian

The defending Big West champs dominated Stephen F. Austin State University in a doubleheader on Friday, March 1. The Tritons (7–3, 0–0 Big West) came out hot in game one against SF Austin (3-9). They exploded on their offense in game one, scoring 10 runs off the back of multiple home runs, while excellent pitching from UC San Diego’s potential MLB prospect, junior RHP Ryan Forcucci, contributed to the win. The second game was much tighter as the Tritons went down early, but they found their offense midway through. Both wins capped a great performance from the Tritons, who are looking to continue occupying the throne as Big West champions this season. 

 

The first game started slow for the Tritons’ offense as they tried to get a feel for the S.F. Austin pitcher. Luckily for the Tritons, they have Forcucci, who boasts a whopping 1.80 ERA. He was able to pitch to weak contact and allow the Tritons’ defense to get easy outs, which left SF Austin scoreless for the first three innings. In the bottom of the third, the Tritons were able to get two runners on base through a single and a walk, setting up senior outfielder Benjamin Rosengard. Down 0–2 in the count, he pulled out a golf swing on a low pitch to smash the ball deep to right-center field for a three-run home run. Rosengard’s first home run of the season put the Tritons up 3–0, and the team never looked back.

 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Tritons had a chance to pile on more runs. After the first batter singled to left field, junior outfielder Nick Costello smashed a ball deep to center field for his first home run of the season, putting the Tritons up 5–0. However, the top of the 5th inning is where things got a little hairy for UCSD. S.F. Austin was able to score 2 runs in the inning off of good hitting, bringing the game within reach again at 5–2. 

 

The Tritons responded in the bottom frame. They had runners on second and third for senior catcher Emiliano Gonzalez. Gonzalez hit a bomb to left field, which bounced off the wall and scored 2 more runs. Later in the inning, a single from Costello would give the Tritons their eighth run. The Tritons wouldn’t look back, playing solid defense and scoring a couple more runs to close out the game at 10–4. In all aspects of the game, the Tritons had a great performance for their first win of the doubleheader. 

 

The second game started out rough for the Tritons as they went down early. With runners on second and third in the top of the second, a ground ball was hit right at the Triton shortstop who was forced to settle for the out at third and allow the runner to score, putting S.F. Austin up 1–0. 

 

The Tritons would be forced to wait until the bottom of the third to respond — and respond they did. Senior shortstop Noah Sudyka was second up to bat and hit a line drive over the center fielder’s head. The ball bounced to the wall, allowing the speedy Sudyka to leg out a triple. Freshman center fielder Michael Crossland was next up to bat, hitting an awkward pop fly that the S.F. Austin players struggled to find, allowing Sudyka to score and tie the game. The Tritons would build on this momentum by moving runners over, hitting singles to score two more runs, and taking a 3–1 lead. 

 

In the top of the fourth inning, S.F. Austin hit a solo home run to reduce UCSD’s lead to 1.  The Tritons prevented any further damage from occurring, but they wouldn’t score again until the bottom of the fifth. After a first-pitch strike, Crossland hit a bomb over the left field fence, reclaiming the Tritons’ two-run lead. Neither team scored again as Triton sophomore relief pitcher Anthony Eyanson would earn a save. The Tritons won 4–2, sweeping the doubleheader. 

 

After these two wins, the Tritons will be back at it over the weekend playing S.F. Austin two more times before facing San Diego State University on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at SDSU. The champs are in good form early on in the season and hope to continue their streak when the Big West games start. 

 

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About the Contributors
Jake Lannon, Senior Staff Writer
4th year Communications major. Looking to work professionally in the field of sports media in the future and you should all read my articles no matter what.
Sarah He, Co-Webmaster, Photographer & Data Visualizer
1st year | Data Science & Cognitive Science
Justin Lu, Photographer
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Justin finds time to compile KR&B playlists and enjoy good food whenever he's not covering events. Other interests include mechanical keyboards, macOS keyboard shortcuts, software development projects, and esports.
Sophie Nourbakhsh, Photographer
I'm a simple woman, Mrs. Fundamental like I play for the Spurs
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