Tritons Advance to Semifinals of Fullerton Tournament
The Tritons opened the tournament against familiar foes the University of San Diego Toreros. UCSD grabbed the lead early with junior Hunter Woodruff scoring on a first inning RBI double by senior Seamus Beyerle. On the mound, junior Ray Estrada cruised through three no-hit innings. But after giving up his first hit to open the fourth, Estrada surrendered a 2-run home run and a run scoring double to give the Toreros a 3-1 lead which they would not relinquish. The Tritons were unable to solve USD’s starter, who struck out twelve Tritons en route to a complete game win.
Game 1: Toreros 3 Tritons 1
Needing a win to stay alive, UCSD took on the USC Trojans in game 2 of pool play.
The Tritons once again struck first on a Joey Flores (JR.) sac fly in the bottom of the second. The Trojans would tie the game with a solo home run in the third, but in the bottom of the inning, Estrada made up for his three strikeout game against USD with a towering 2-run home run to give the Tritons the lead. The Tritons would then add five runs in the fourth with RBIs from Woodruff (2), junior Jacob Springman, Estrada, and Flores. Freshman Austin Uresti and junior Matt Hosino combined to stifle the Trojan bats on a poor Saturday for USC athletics.
Game 2: Tritons 8 Trojans 2
A time-limit win by USD the previous evening set up a winner-move-on matchup between the Tritons and UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Sunday morning. The Gauchos managed a run in each of the first two innings off of starting pitcher, junior Ray Young. The Tritons would halve the UCSB lead in the top of the fourth on a Beyerle double and tie it in the fifth on a Beyerle single. In the sixth, senior Zeke Haenelt would smash a ball into the gap with two men on for a 2-RBI triple to give the Tritons a 4-2 advantage. After a strong six innings from Young, Springman came in and earned the save after loading the bases before recording an out. Interesting game note: Young and Springman did not strike out a single Gaucho between them.
Game 3: Tritons 4 Gauchos 2
Game 4: Semifinals
The Tritons advanced out their pool with a 2-1 record, good for second behind USD. In the semis, the Tritons faced the UCLA Bruins, whom UCSD beat two of three times two weeks prior. UCLA would open the scoring in the bottom of the second after senior David Gomez allowed an RBI single. UCLA would tack on another on a sacrifice fly in the fourth. In the next half-inning, the Tritons would score three times to take the lead. Freshman Rocco Novello drove a ball into the right-centerfield gap for a 2-RBI triple. Woodruff would drive him in on a single for the go-ahead run. But UCLA would tie it in the bottom of the inning on a single. The Bruins would add another in the sixth to take a 4-3 advantage into the final inning. The Tritons did manage to tie the game at four runs apiece after 3 consecutive walks (one intentionally). But by the time the inning ended, the game had gone over the two hour time limit and, by rule, the score would revert to the last completed inning (top and bottom half). Unfortunately for the Tritons, this meant that UCLA would win by a 4-3 margin. UCLA advanced to the championship game against the host Cal State Fullerton Titans. UCSD was eliminated.
Game 4: Bruins 4 Tritons 3 (6)
As of now, the Tritons have played their final games of the fall portion of the schedule, finishing with a record of 10-3. The boys will be back in action in January as they look to prime up for conference season and a potential playoff push. Until then, happy holidays and go Tritons!