Mustang Bats Roar Over Lions
April 6, 2013
By Mason Nesbitt, TMC Sports Information Intern
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – “Do you know how challenging it is to win six games against the same team,” asked The Master’s College baseball head coach Monte Brooks. “That’s really difficult to do.”
Difficult, yes. Impossible, obviously not.
TMC (32-11, 22-8 GSAC) swept a doubleheader from Vanguard University on Saturday, 9-4 and 5-2. In effect, the Mustangs swept the season series with Vanguard (16-24, 9-18 GSAC) six games to none.
“Our pitching dominated,” Brooks said of the season series. “We were able to attack their hitters the way we want to attack.”
“Dominated” might be an understatement. In six games between the teams this season, Mustang pitchers allowed eight earned runs in 50 innings.
TMC’s Andrew Klausmeier (Northridge, CA) and Tyler Elrod (Modesto, CA) picked up Saturday where Friday’s starting pitcher A.J. Work (Boise, ID) left off.
Klausmeier threw three perfect innings in relief of game one’s winning pitcher James Scott (Canyon Country, CA). And Elrod threw a complete game five hitter in game two, allowing two runs and striking out five.
Elrod beat Vanguard for the second time this season, the first coming on Feb. 16. And he did it with his family in attendance, wearing t-shirts bearing a caricature of his face that accentuated his moustache.
“Everything was working today,” said Elrod. “I kept the ball down for the most part and the defense again showed up behind me…I had no idea my family was going to wear those shirts. I thought about shaving my mustache before the game but figured why not just leave it.”
All five of the Mustangs’ RBIs in game one came from their one through four hitters. TMC also scored on a throwing error forced when Jon Popadics (Boise, ID) stole third base in the first and on a double steal in the third.
The Mustangs went ahead 9-3 in the eighth, scoring four runs on five hits, sparked by a Cody Harris (Lakewood, CA) ground-rule double.
Game two was tied at one before Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA) led off the fifth inning with a home run, his fifth. Riddle came up clutch again in the sixth; his RBI double put the Mustangs up 5-2.
TMC’s Caleb Halverson (Temple City, CA), Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA), and Steven Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) each had an RBI in game two.
With the wins, the Mustangs remain three-and-a-half games ahead of second place Concordia.
“We’re excited about the victories,” Brooks said. “We’ve continued to play good defense and pitch well. Now you’re starting to see us get some clutch hits and that’s what we have to do.”
Following a very productive five-game homestand, the Mustangs take to the road next weekend, traveling to Phoenix to take on Arizona Christian in a three-game series. Back in late February, the Mustangs beat the Firestorm in three straight games.