Tritons Clinch Sothern Pacific South Division Championship with Series win over ASU
Saturday, April 25, 2015
This past weekend, your Tritons won the SOPAC South Division by beating the Number 2 ranked team in the nation twice. This caps a 16-game winning streak that has spanned back to February and marks a return to the playoffs for the first time in two years.
In the first game, junior Andrew Hinkle took the mound and threw lights out baseball holding the Sun Devils to just one unearned run that was scratched across in the first inning. After that, Hinkle proceeded to throw a complete game holding the Sun Devils to that one run in a brilliant performance. The Tritons’ offense was held in check for most of the game but came around towards the end. After squandering a great opportunity with a runner on second and nobody out, the Tritons managed to load the bases on a Jake Cloutier single, Nick Walsh hit by pitch, and another walk to Jack Lombardi. This set the stage for senior Tommy Valles who ripped a game-winning walk-off single that ended the Sun Devils undefeated season and gave them their first loss in conference.
The second game was just as dramatic as the Tritons needed a win to clinch their ticket to the postseason. Junior, Marc Lopez, took the mound and nearly matched the performance by Hinkle before him holding the Sun Devils to just one run through 6 innings blemished only by a long home run by the Sun Devil’s third basemen. The Tritons staked him out to a 6-1 lead with a balanced offensive attack that had good at-bats up and down the lineup. In the seventh though, Lopez ran into a little trouble, giving up a home run to lead off the inning which cut the lead down to 6-2. Lopez then proceeded to load the bases and was relieved by Kevin Nieh. Nieh then hit the first batter to make it a 6-3 game and then gave up to more on a walk and a fielder’s choice. With the lead down to 6-5 and two outs, second basemen Jordan Kassem made the game winning play to clinch the Triton’s postseason birth.
In the last game, there was a “hangover effect” from winning the division and the Triton defense gave up two early runs despite senior Scott Rees’ solid pitching. The Tritons fought back though and tied the game 2-2 in the third inning on a single by Shane Aldas. The game slowly starting getting away from the Tritons though as subpar pitching and errors by the defense helped give the Sun Devils a 12-5 victory marking the first loss for the Tritons in the past 17 games. Although the season ended in a loss, the Tritons finished with an overall record of 20-3 and a conference record of 16-2.
The Tritons will head into the playoffs as the number one seed as they will face off against UCLA, Sonoma State, and ASU this weekend in Lancaster, CA. They will have games Friday at 3:00pm and games Saturday and Sunday depending on wins/losses. They need three victories in order to win regionals and move on to Nationals in Kentucky. The entire Tritons Club Baseball team wants to thank the fans and friends who have supported them to a SOPAC South Division crown and hope that there will be continued support as the Tritons head to Lancaster for playoffs.
Apr 11 - Tritons Sweep University of Arizona
Apr 4 - Tritons Sweep Lumberjacks
Mar 7 - Tritons Sweep Cal State Fullerton