SAN DIEGO — Brian Rude hit a grand slam in the fourth inning Friday to help UC San Diego defeat La Verne, 11-4, in the first game of the best-of-five NCAA Division III West Regional at La Verne. The victory was a school-record 13th straight for the Tritons.
Bob Natal, who came into the game hitting .449, hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Tritons a 2-0 lead. Natal went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and four runs scored, and he was walked three times.
Rude finished the game 3 for 5 with six RBIs, and Derek Alkonin went 3 for 4 with one RBI. Sophomore Rick Nowak (10-3) went the distance, allowing two earned runs. Rick Niles hit a solo home run in the ninth for La Verne.
UCSD (30-11) and La Verne (27-19) play a doubleheader today beginning at noon at La Verne.