With a comeback and a rout, the Tritons earned a third consecutive West Region crown to advance following the first-ever NCAA Division II Baseball West Super Regional.
Both games Saturday were must wins, after the team lost to Azusa Pacific Friday. UC San Diego pulled out a come-from-behind 6-5 decision in the first game, and rolled over Azusa Pacific in the second, 16-5.
Senior R.J. Prince hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning of the first game to give the Tritons the lead. He added a two-run single and another two-run blast in the second game. Steven Schuknecht, who has already completed his undergraduate degree, hit four home runs on Saturday, with three coming in the second game.
With the wins, UC San Diego improved to 40-14 overall, achieving 40 wins for the third season in a row under eighth-year head coach Eric Newman.
UC San Diego returns to the NCAA Championships after finishing as runners-up in 2017. The eight-team, double-elimination tournament will begin June 1.
UC San Diego is set to face North Carolina’s Catawba College at noon June 2. Other teams in the tournament are Colorado Mesa, Tampa, Ashland, Central Missouri, Mercyhurst and NYIT.
UC San Diego improved its record to 39-22 in its 11th NCAA Division II Championship appearance.
– Staff reports
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