Tritons Ride Dominant Pitching And Relentless Hitting To Convincing Henderson Tournament Championship
This past weekend the Tritons competed in the fall NCBA Henderson Tournament, just outside Las Vegas. After going perfect in pool play to earn a berth in the final, UCSD used a tried and true method of scoring a lot of runs with two outs to down UCLA and take the title.
Pool play kicked off Saturday against the Long Beach State Dirtbags, a team the Tritons have already seen this fall. UCSD got on the board early with a 2-run double from senior Hunter Woodruff in the top of the first inning. Senior Miguel Moreno drove home another run with a sacrifice fly in the second. As freshman Michael Robichaux was authoring four scoreless innings on the mound, the Tritons continued to add runs. Senior Alex Uy doubled home a run in the fourth, then scored on a Woodruff single. Three runs came across in the fifth on a double by freshman Dylan Vargas, an error, and a double by senior Kelvin Murillo. In the sixth the Tritons batted around to put the mercy rule into play. Moreno singled in a pair, freshman Darryl Contrano and Adan Estrada earned RBIs with hit by pitches, freshman Jordan Doole had an RBI single, and the last run of the inning came on an error. The Dirtbags squeaked one run across in the bottom of the sixth, but that was well short of what they needed to keep the game alive.
Game 1: Tritons 15 Dirtbags 1 (6)
The first night game of the year would be against the St. Mary’s College Gaels. The Tritons again scored first with a wild pitch bringing in Alex Uy in the bottom of the first. Uy singled in a run in the second and freshman Andrew Xiao doubled home another in the second. Senior Joey Flores brought home another pair of runs in the third with a single. After a scoreless fourth, the Tritons would put the game to bed in the fifth. Freshman Kenta Okada picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice, freshman Jason Cheng singled in a run, Dylan Vargas walked in another, then senior Jacob Springman doubled in a pair to walk the game off with a mercy rule. Freshman Jarrett Thompson and Darryl Contrano combined for a one hit shutout over five innings.
Game 2: Tritons 10 Gaels 0 (5)
The Tritons fate was directly in their hands on Sunday. A win over the Loyola Marymount University Lions would guarantee a berth in the championship game. UCSD once again jumped ahead in the first with a three runs coming on a sac fly from Hunter Woodruff, a single from Miguel Moreno, and an error. The lead was doubled in the third on a 2-RBI single by senior Josh Fonseca and a sac fly by Jason Cheng. Senior Ray Estrada continued the trend of Triton starters going four scoreless innings on the mound. LMU pushed across a run in the fifth. This was answered with a run scoring single from Adan Estrada in the sixth. The game became a bit nervous in the seventh, with three Triton errors helping to score four Lions runs. But the comeback came up short as senior David Gomez came in to earn the save. With the win, the Tritons moved on to the championship game against UCLA, who had finished their perfect pool play earlier Sunday.
Game 3: Tritons 7 Lions 5
Game 4: Championship
Going up against the toughest opponent of the weekend in the UCLA Bruins, the Tritons were ready to take the title back to San Diego. It was looking like the Tritons would score more first inning runs, loading the bases with nobody out in the opening frame. But UCLA’s starter wiggled free with no damage done. It would be the Bruins who would strike first on a solo home run in the second. They tacked on another in the inning with a single. The Tritons pitching buckled down from there. Starter Michael Robichaux got through three on short rest. Jarrett Thompson authored two scoreless innings which flanked a Triton rally in the top of the fifth. Kelvin Murillo opened the scoring with an RBI single. Freshman Curtis Faletti singled home a run, Alex Uy singled in another, as did Andrew Xiao. Jacob Springman tripled in two runs to break the game open. An error brought one more home. The Tritons were suddenly five runs ahead after trailing 2-0 to begin the inning. UCSD would effectively put the game out of reach with five more two out runs in the seventh. One error allowed two runs to score, then Kenta Okada, Jordan Doole, and Joey Flores singled in a run each on singles. The Bruins put runners on in the last of the seventh and scored twice, but Doole was able to close out the game and the tournament for UCSD.
Championship Final: Tritons 12 Bruins 4
This is the first time in three tries the Tritons have captured the title of the Henderson Tournament. Triton pitchers allowed ten runs to cross while the offense combined for FORTY-FOUR runs across four games.
The Tritons are scheduled to wrap their fall slate with a double-header against the UC Irvine Anteaters this coming Sunday in Irvine.