Grand Prairie, Texas - The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team suffered their first loss at the NCAA Division II Championship, a 10-0 defeat at the hands of Cal San Diego in Grand Prairie, Texas. The Spartans fell behind and the pitching staff, which is been outstanding throughout the post-season, walked 11 batters to aid the Tritons' outburst. STAC now stands at 44-16 overall, while UCSD staved off elimination for the third straight day to improve to 43-18.
Both of these team started the tournament on Sunday with STAC rallying for a wild 6-5 victory in 12 innings. With UCSD's win on Thursday, the teams will now play a rubber match at 4:00 pm Eastern on Friday, with the winner advancing to Saturday's Championship round and the loser being eliminated.
A combination of a prolific Tritons' offense and uncharacteristic wildness from the Spartan hurlers led to UCSD posting two runs in each of the 2nd through 5th innings, adding solo markers in the 6th and 7th. Anthony Shkrelja, generally a control pitcher, got the start and struggled from the outset to be tagged with the loss.
Joey Pena had a pair of hits to lead the Spartans, while Jack Larsen and Alex Eliopolous had three apiece for Cal San Diego, with starter Kyle Goodbrand turning in a strong outing with a complete-game shutout to earn the win.
Provided by the St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information Department.