February 22, 2013
By Sam Taber, Sports TMC Information Intern
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – The Master’s College came out strong today in the first game of a three-game weekend series against Arizona Christian. Strong pitching, combined with a ferocious offense, led the Mustangs to a resounding 10-1 victory. Winners of four in a row, the Mustangs not only improved to 13-5 overall but stayed in first place in the GSAC at 9-4. Meanwhile, the Firestorm dropped to 6-7.
Mustang starting pitcher A. J. Work (Boise, ID) tossed six innings of two-hit, shutout ball and improved to an impressive 5-1. Work was followed by Tucker Richardson (Modesto, CA), who pitched one inning, and Dalton Thompson (Riverside, CA), who pitched the eighth and ninth frames. Thompson walked two and gave up one hit and the Firestorm's lone run.
The Mustang offense was on fire, scoring two runs in the first inning, four in the third, and four more in the fifth. Jon Popadics (Boise, ID), Steven Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA), Spencer Downs (Kelso, WA), Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA), and Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) led the attack, scoring nine of the team's ten runs while driving in a combined eight runs. Riddle singlehandedly plated all four runs in the third when he blasted a grand slam over the right field wall, his second home run of the year.
Alika Pruett, starting pitcher for the Firestorm, threw five innings and allowed all ten of the Mustangs' runs. However, he did manage to chalk up four strikeouts before turning things over to reliever Cody Honea. Honea pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out three.
Arizona’s only run came in the top of the eighth when Tyler Osborne hit Thompson’s first pitch deep over the left-centerfield wall.
TMC and Arizona will face off again tomorrow in a doubleheader. The first pitch will be thrown at 11:00 AM.