LA JOLLA, Calif. - Greg Selarz turned in a quality start Sunday to lead the UC San Diego baseball team to a 5-3 win over No. 29 Cal State Monterey Bay at Triton Ballpark. The California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) victory secured the team's first series win of the season.
UCSD (11-13, 9-7 CCAA) plated three runs in the first inning and held a 5-1 lead before CSUMB (13-9, 6-6 CCAA) scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Selarz, who improved to 2-2, threw 6.2 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out five and walking none. The five Ks were one short of his career-high. Selarz, a senior right-hander, retired the side in order in the third and sixth innings. He has won his last two starts, defeating Cal State East Bay on the road on Mar. 4.
Right fielder Gregg Ringold, center fielder Danny Susdorf and shortstop Garrett Tuck all had two hits apiece for the Tritons. Susdorf, Tuck and catcher Brett Levy each drove in a run, while Susdorf scored twice and stole two bases.
Tony York shut the Otters down in order in the ninth to record his team-leading third save of the season.
For Cal State Monterey Bay, centerfielder Danny Nelson finished 3-for-5 with a run scored, while five other Otters had hits to account for the team's total of eight. Nelson, second baseman David Garcia and first baseman Brian Haggett each doubled.
On the mound, CSUMB starter Jonas Noack (1-1) lasted just a third of an inning. He gave up three runs (one earned) on one hit, walked two and committed a costly throwing error.
Both teams used five pitchers in the game.
The Otters took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Nelson led off the game with a double down the left field line and took third on a wild pitch. With one out, Nelson came in to score when designated hitter Chris Lopiccolo grounded out to shortstop.
UCSD wasted no time coming back in the bottom half of the frame. Susdorf drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Ringold sacrificed the runner to third with a bunt back to Noack, but the right-handed hurler threw the ball away trying to go to first base. The miscue not only allowed Susdorf to score, but Ringold made it all the way around to third on the play. Tuck flew out to center, deep enough to score Ringold and give the Tritons a 2-1 lead. Designated hitter Nick La Face walked, advanced to third on a double by left fielder Justin Rahn and scored on a line drive out to center by Levy.
The first two Tritons were retired in the bottom of the second inning before Susdorf singled back up the middle and moved to third on a single by Ringold. Some heads-up baserunning by Susdorf scored the eventual game-winning run as he crossed the plate when Ringold was caught in a rundown between first and second.
UC San Diego went up 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth. First baseman Richard Seigel was hit by a pitch to lead off, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Ryan O'Malley and then took third on a bunt single by second baseman Spencer Frazier. Susdorf again figured in the scoring as he knocked in Seigel with a ground ball out to short.
With one away in the top of the seventh, Otter right fielder Tommy George reached base on an infield throwing error and made it all the way to third on the play. A single by pinch hitter Jeff Phillips drove in George to make the score 5-2 in favor of the Tritons. Justin Burns came on to relieve Selarz and gave up two straight singles to load the bases. With the bases juiced, left-hander Richard Kilbury replaced Burns and got shortstop Jason Merjano to hit a ground ball back to him. Kilbury threw home to force the runner out and Levy fired down to first to complete the double play and end the threat.
Monterey Bay scored once more in the top of the eighth. Garcia doubled off of Elias Tuma to lead off. Tuma retired the next two batters before left fielder Jared DeCastro singled to shortstop. The slow-developing play allowed Garcia to score from second.
The win gave the four-game series to UCSD as it also won game one 10-1 and game two 4-3. Prior to this week, the Tritons had lost two non-conference series and split CCAA sets against Chico State, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State East Bay.
UCSD plays its next two series on the road, starting with four games at CCAA opponent San Francisco State Mar. 16-18. Following another four-game league set at Cal State Stanislaus Mar. 30-Apr. 1, the Tritons return home to host Sonoma State Apr. 5-7.
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