Sonoma State downs UC San Diego
Lee's strong effort propels Seawolves to victory
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -- Thomas Lee gave up just five hits and one run while striking out eight and Kyle Jones went 2 for 4 with two RBI, helping No. 16 Sonoma State to a series-opening 5-1 victory over No. 21 UC San Diego on Friday at Seawolf Diamond. The win is the fourth consecutive for the Seawolves as they improve to 22-7 overall and 15-7 in the CCAA. The Tritons fall to 21-12 and 14-11.
Right from the get-go, the game looked as if it would be an offensive showcase between two of the nation's top teams as both teams put up runs in the first inning. It would be UC San Diego to draw first blood with a RBI single up the middle by Blake Tagmyer, scoring Kyle Saul, who lead off the game with an infield single.
In the bottom half of the first, Sonoma State struck back with a two RBI triple by Jones that scored Alex Todd and O'Koyea Dickson, putting the Seawolves up 2-1. SSU would then tack on another run in the second on another RBI triple, this time by Ryan Morales, that scored Kevin Cramer as Sonoma State led 3-1.
From then on, it became a pitching duel between SSU's Lee and UCSD's Tim Shibuya. Lee (2-0) lasted six innings and gave up just the one run while striking out eight. Ian Ocon took over in the seventh and kept the Tritons off the scoreboard in his three innings of work, earning his third save of the year. With Lee's eight strikeouts and Ocon's six, UC San Diego went down on strikes 14 times on Friday.
On the other side, Shibuya (6-3) went seven innings and gave up four runs, but only one earned. He struck out nine Seawolves. Eric Abraham came on in relief to pitch the eighth inning, giving up two hits and an unearned run.
Shibuya, after allowing the three runs in the first two innings, settled down before running into a bit of trouble in the seventh as he was up into the 100-pitch count range. Cameron Cook brought home Cramer on a RBI single after Cramer reached on a throwing error by the short stop Garrett Tuck. Then, in the eighth, UCSD's Abraham threw a wild pitch on a strikeout by Kyle Cerrudo, forcing an errant throw down to first by the catcher Nick La Face to try and get Cerrudo for the final out of the inning. The error allowed Jones to score from third and Sonoma State led 5-1.
In the ninth, Ocon retired the Tritons in order, striking out two of the three batters he faced and the Seawolves took game one of the four-game series, 5-1.
Jones, Randy Wells and Cramer had two hits each, combining for six of the nine by Sonoma State on the afternoon. Offensively for UC San Diego, Evan Kehoe had two hits to lead the Tritons.