This past weekend of 1/28 and 1/29, UC San Diego Club Baseball travelled up to Berkeley to take on the Cal Bears in a 3 game pre-season series. In game 1, the Tritons sent freshman Ray Young to the mound. Ray scuffled through the first inning, allowing 2 runs right off the bat but settled down nicely after that, only allowing one more run to score in his 5 solid innings of work. In these 5 innings, the Triton bats took advantage of some sub-par Cal pitching and jumped out to a 7-3 lead thanks to clutch hits from Alec Lopez, Shane Aldas, and Alex Uy. Unfortunately for UC San Diego, this lead would not last as Cal strung together an amazing 6th inning to score 5 runs and take an 8-7 lead, which would end up being the game’s final score.
In game 2, Senior Shane Aldas was sent to the mound to get the Tritons back on the right track. Shane pitched excellently, only allowing 2 earned runs in 5 innings and kept UC San Diego in the game. Cal took a 1-0 lead in the 1st, which the Tritons matched in the 2nd only to have Cal jump back on top 2-1 in the bottom of the 2nd inning. UC San Diego tied the game at 2 in the 4th inning but again Cal answered back immediately with a run in the bottom of the 4th to take the lead again at 3-2. Cal would add one more run in the 6th inning thanks to some sloppy UC San Diego defense to take a 4-2 lead. In the top of the 7th, the Tritons gave it their all but were robbed of a couple of hits on excellent defensive plays from Cal and wound up losing the game by a final score of 4-2.
In the final game of the series, Senior Yousef Koutnik started on the mound to make his season debut after being out all Fall with injuries. The Tritons jumped on top to an early 2-0 lead with a run in each of the first two innings, and they never looked back thanks to solid pitching all game from Yousef and Jordan Kassem and great hitting up and down the lineup. Yousef struck out 7 and only walked 2 in his 6 innings while Jordan only allowed 2 hits in his 3 innings. After scuffling a bit in the first two games, UC San Diego’s bats woke up and threatened to score in almost every inning. A big 3-run 4th inning and 5-run 7th inning were keyed by big hits from Jared Vitug, Seamus Beyerle, Ray Estrada, Kyle Tanaka, and Chuy Torres.
Next up for the Tritons is the start of conference play with a monumental series against the always tough Arizona State University. Even though it will be the team’s first conference games, this series will have playoff implications and set the tone for the rest of the season. The games will be on Saturday 2/11 (9 inning, starting at 1:30PM) and on Sunday 2/12 (doubleheader starting at 9:00AM) at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista. We would love to see as many of our fans as possible come out and cheer us on as we start SoPac Conference play!