The 2nd-ranked UC San Diego baseball team broke open a tied game in the top of the ninth with eight runs, capturing the NCAA West Regional title over Sonoma State 12-4 on Sunday afternoon in Keizer, Oregon.
It will be UCSD’s first-ever appearance at the D-II level at the NCAA D-II National Championships. The Tritons sent 13 batters to the plate in the ninth inning as Robert Sedin’s double gave them the lead and Tim Mort added a bases loaded double to break open the game. Tim Shibuya earned the win out of the bullpen and Vance Albitz was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
With this appearance in the National Finals, head coach Dan O’Brien will now have played (1994) and coached in the World Series. “Some of the feelings came back as we made the final out,” said O’Brien. “This is different. It is all about the guys on the field who made this happen.”
Shibuya pitched 2.2 innings of relief to earn the win. Kirby St. John was the starting pitcher, going 5.0 innings and allowing thee runs while Ryland MacFadyen also saw action pitching 1.1 innings allowing one run. Shibuya improves to 8-4 on the season.
Offensively, Brandon Gregorich and Matt Cantele homered, each giving the Tritons the lead. UCSD did most of its damage in the ninth inning scoring eight runs on eight hits. Albitz led a trio of Tritons with three hits as Gregorich and Cantele had three hits as well. “We always have guys on this team stepping up,” said tournament MVP Vance Albitz.
“This team is playing the best baseball of the year at the right time,” added head coach Dan O’Brien. The Tritons are now 6-1 in the postseason, going 3-0 at the CCAA tournament and 3-1 at the NCAA West Regional.
UCSD is back in action on Sunday, May 24 when it takes on the East Regional Champion.
The game is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern time at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
For more information visit the
team’s official site.