UCSD baseball team nearly dug itself out of an early hole in the 7-4 loss to Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday night and ended its run at the Division II College World Series in Cary, North Carolina.
The Tritons trailed 7-0 after the first inning before their offense came to life. UCSD rallied to scored in three-straight innings, from the fifth to the seventh, but the rally fell short.
“Seven runs is a lot to come back from and these guys they put everything they had into it,” UCSD coach Eric Newman said of his team. “We had a couple of opportunities and darn near pulled it off but it was kinda just a big hill to climb.”
After the fourth inning, Newman had a pep talk with his team in the dugout. He said the team was being too emotional and the players needed to get back to playing fundamental baseball. That seemed to have worked. At the top of the fifth, Michael Palos hit a solo home run to left field to put the Tritons on the board, 7-1, and to get the momentum back.
“We just had that talk and we just started to settle in and get back to how we played,” Palos said. “Like coach said, we dug ourselves a big hole early in the game and we didn’t have those good at-bats early in the game to counter the runs they were putting up but … we dug in, started putting together good at-bats and just went from there.”
The Tritons scored in the next two innings to make it 7-4. Closer Cameron Kurz, pitching in the last game of his college career, kept UCSD in contention with 4 2/3 shutout innings. He recorded six strikeouts over that stretch against 14 batters and allowed no hits or walks.
“It got to the point where we need to switch momentum,” Kurz said. “I went out there and tried to give us that just so we’d have a chance to win. The guys rallied hard and we couldn’t quite pull it off but I just went out there and pitched. That’s all you can do in situations like that. That’s all any of us can do and play the game. And we couldn’t pull it off but we gave it a run.”
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