Baseball Stymied By UC San Diego in Championships Opener


CARY, N.C. -- UC San Diego took a 5-0 win over Catawba on Sunday afternoon at the 2019 NCAA II Baseball Championships at the USA Baseball National Training Complex’s Coleman Field. The Tritons, ranked sixth and seeded-sixth, improve to 41-14. The 11th-ranked and third-seeded Catawba Indians fall to 47-13.

The Tritons scored in just one inning, but put together six straight hits in the fifth to produce the games only runs.

Ryan McNally and Chris Schasteen hit back-to-back one-out home runs to put UCSD on top. After an infield hit and a double by Shay Whitcomb, Alex Eliopulos added to the lead with a two-run double. Blake Baumgartner capped the inning was a RBI single up the middle that bounced off the bag at second.

Catawba was held in check by the Tritons, getting a runner as far as second base only twice. The best chance came in the fifth as the Indians tried to answer the UCSD outburst. Cameron Morrison and Lee Poteat singled with one out, but a double play grounder ended the threat.

Poteat had walked to lead off the third and was sacrificed to second. UCSD starter Preston Mott was able to get a strikeout and fly out to end the frame.

Mott, now 9-1, and Cameron Leonard combined on the four-hit shutout. Mott surrendered four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in his six and two-thirds innings. Leonard did not allow a hit with a walk and two strikeouts as he closed the game with the final two and a third innings.

Bryan Ketchie (9-2) blanked the Tritons over the first four innings and got an easy come-backer to open the fifth. That would be the final out he would record as UCSD followed with five hits off the lefty before D.J. Laxton came in and eventually got the Indians out of the inning.

Laxton would allow just a hit in his inning and two-thirds of work with three strikeouts. Riley Myers fanned two over his two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, and Greg Brown finished up with a perfect inning and one strikeout. Ketchie walked one and struck out four.

Jackson Raper had two of Catawba’s four hits. Eliopulos and R.J. Prince had two hits for UC San Diego.

Catawba will face either Tampa or Mercyhurst in an elimination game on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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