March 23, 2016
Santa Clarita, Calif. -- David Sheaffer's single up the middle scored Justyn Lee with the winning run in the eleventh inning and The Master's College walked off with a 3-2 win over Arizona Christian Wednesday afternoon at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
The victory was the Mustangs' second conference victory in a row and secured sole possession of fourth place in the GSAC with a 9-7 record (19-11 overall).
Sheaffer's game-winner was set up by back-to-back hits from Collin Nyenhuis (Vista, CA) and Michael Sexton (Puyallup, WA). Nyenhuis led off the bottom of the eleventh with his second single of the game and courtesy runner Justyn Lee (Woodland Hills, CA) moved up 90 feet when Sexton laced one through the right side.
After Aaron Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) popped out, Sheaffer plated Lee with the winning run that snapped the contest's second tie and ended the Mustangs' longest game of the season.
The Mustangs, who never trailed, drew first blood in their initial at-bat when Brandon Van Horn (Tujunga, CA) ripped a one-out triple to center field and scored moments later on a Nyenhuis single up the middle.
Mustang starter Jason Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) made that run stand up through the first two frames, retiring the first six batters he faced. He should have gotten through the third inning unscathed, as well, but back-to-back outfield errors enabled the visitors to tie the game.
That knot stayed in place until the sixth when Van Horn and Shackelford teamed up to put the Mustangs back in front. Van Horn led off the inning with a single and two outs later Shackelford doubled him home to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead.
With Karkenny cruising through the middle innings it appearedthe junior righthander was headed for his seventh win of the season. After escaping the third, Karkenny set down 13 of the next 15 batters he faced and carried the narrowest of advantages into the eighth.
After getting the first out of that inning, he surrendered a walk and then a two-out single and run-scoring double to tie the game again. Karkenny kept the damage to a minimum when he got an inning-ending strikeout with runners at second and third.
That would be his final inning of work as he finished up allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out nine in his third stint of eight innings or more in 2016.
Danny Lutz (Phoenix, AZ) took over in the ninth and proceeded to hurl three innings of nearly perfect relief. He walked one batter and wound up retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. When Sheaffer drove in the game-winner in the eleventh, Lutz gained his second victory (2-3) of the year.
The Mustangs and Firestorm continue their three-game series tomorrow when they tangle in a doubleheader that starts at 11:00am at Herwaldt Stadium.