Mustangs Pull Rank On Eagles
March 27, 2013
By Mason Nesbit, TMC Sports Information Intern
IRVINE, Calif.— The biggest roadblock between No. 5 The Master’s College and its first GSAC championship since 2003 may be No. 13 Concordia. Jon Popadics helped distance TMC (27-9, 19-6 GSAC) from the Eagles (24-11, 13-9 GSAC) Wednesday.
Popadics, who was 0-for-4 to start off the game, put TMC ahead for good, hitting a two-run single with two outs in the eighth, rallying the Mustangs to a 7-5 win.
"I had four terrible at-bats," said Popadics, "but I flushed all of it and luckily the pitcher hung a curveball and I got the barrel on it."
Trailing 5-3 entering the eighth, the first two Mustang hitters flew out. TMC then strung together a walk and three hits to tie the game 5-5 before Popadics' heroics.
"It's a great victory for us, beating a nationally-ranked team who has been a powerhouse," said Mustang head coach Monte Brooks.
The win extends TMC's conference lead to four and a half games over the Eagles with 11 GSAC games to go. It is especially significant considering how tough Concordia is to beat at home according to Brooks, because of how conducive their hard playing surface is to their speed and ability to put the ball in play, putting pressure on the defense.
James Scott made his first start in 10 days for TMC and showed no rust in the early going, throwing three scoreless innings before a questionable catcher's inteference and balk call led to two Eagle runs in the fourth.
The Mustangs scored a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, respectively, pulling to within one run of the Eagles each time, highlighted by Joe Riddle's seventh-inning home run. But every time Concordia responded with a run of their own.
"We talked about being calm in the storm, and they were," Brooks said of his teams' resilliency.
TMC’s Tommy Kister pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning for the save, his seventh of the season.
Brooks wouldn't speculate on what the win means going forward.
"Every game is significant, we're just taking it one pitch at a time."
TMC will take on Concordia again tomorrow in a doubleheader. First pitch will be thrown at 12:00 PM