Tritons Ride Dominant Pitching to Series Sweep of UCLA
This past weekend the Tritons traveled up to Los Angeles, Glendale specifically, to take on the UCLA Bruins in a final tune-up for both teams before the season officially begins February 1st. The Tritons held the Bruins to six total runs, all on Saturday, on their way to a momentum building sweep before the conference schedule begins.
The opening game of the series proved to be a tight one. Both teams opened with 1-2-3 innings, with the UCSD starter, freshman Michael Robichaux, striking out the side in the first. The scoring got started with a home run from senior Hunter Woodruff to lead off the top of the second. UCLA would strike back in the bottom of the inning, bringing home a run on a single. The score would remain tied until the fifth, when sophomore Jordan Doole walked home a run. Woodruff brought in another with a single. The Tritons tacked on a crucial insurance run in the sixth when senior Ray Estrada came home on a ground ball double play. A towering UCLA home run brought the Bruins back within one, but freshman Darryl Contrano slammed the door in the seventh to claim game one for the Tritons.
Game 1: Tritons 4 Bruins 3
With a series win in sight, the bats had their biggest outburst of the weekend. UCLA would strike first, however, on a solo home run in the opening frame. UCSD would tie the contest with an RBI single from freshman Jason Cheng. Ray Estrada would score on an error in the third to take a lead, but UCLA would take it back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. From there, the rest of the scoring would come from the Tritons. Sophomore Kenta Okada tied the game once again in the fourth with a single. An error scored senior Jacob Springman and Darryl Contrano in the fifth. Senior Josh Fonseca also brought a home a run on a sacrifice fly. In the seventh, sophomore Adan Estrada walked home a run, Okada earned an RBI the hard way by getting hit by a pitch, and an error scored Fonseca. The Tritons had secured the series win and would for a sweep Sunday morning.
Game 2: Tritons 9 Bruins 3
The early morning chill of Sunday morning seemed to freeze the bats of both teams. Freshman Jarrett Thompson struggled with his control to start, but only surrendered one hit to the UCLA hitters, resulting in no runs coming across for the Bruins. The Tritons’ bats were equally stifled by the Bruins’ arms. The game would remain scoreless into the fifth, when with two outs and runners on second and third, UCLA’s pitcher balked, scoring senior Miguel Moreno. This would be all UCSD would need. Ray Estrada authored four scoreless innings of relief, only allowing one hit. The game would be called after seven innings due to time constraints with the field reservations.
Game 3: Tritons 1 Bruins 0
The Tritons play next as the visiting team in a series against the crosstown San Diego State Aztecs to begin official conference play, February 8th and 9th.
As with the rest of the sports world, the Tritons mourn the passing of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, as well as the other occupants of the helicopter: Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan. This tragedy reminds us to not take life for granted and to appreciate the joys of our lives, however small they may be, when they come.