Mustangs Outrun The Flames

April 11, 2017

Santa Clarita, Calif. -- Dalton deVries drove in what proved to be the winning run and Robert Winslow came out of the bullpen to pitch three impressive innings as The Master's University got by Bethesda 9-7 in a non-conference game Tuesday afternoon at Lou Herwaldt Stadium. 

Winners of a season-high six games in a row and nine of their last 10, the Mustangs improved to 24-18 overall.

deVries, who has struggled for most of the season in his role as the club's designated hitter, came up big in the last of the seventh inning after the Flames had scored four times in the top of the frame to pull even at 7-7.

Jason Karkenny ignited the inning with a leadoff single and a steal of second base.  He moved to third on a Caleb Menez infield hit and trotted home with the go-ahead run when deVries singled to right field.  It was the second of two rbi for deVries on the afternoon.  Menez, who had raced to third on deVries' single, scored moments later when Matt Janes laid down a sacrifice bunt that Bethesda pitcher Logan Maxwell could do nothing with except go to first for the out.

That two-run lead (9-7) looked more like a cushion with the way Winslow silenced the Flames' bat.  In the top of the seventh, he had stopped the bleeding of Bethesda's four-run rally, getting the final three outs of the frame, two of them by strikeout.

Then after his teammates gave him the lead, the sophomore righthander, who earlier in the day had been tabbed as the NAIA National Pitcher of the Week, mowed down the Flames over the final two innings, striking out four of the seven batters he faced, including Armando Verdugo to end the game.

Just four days after whiffing 14 Menlo Oaks, Winslow struck out six more in his three-inning stint against the Flames as he evened his 2017 record at 5-5.

The Mustangs never trailed in this one after scoring in each of their first three at-bats.  In the first inning, Jonah Jarrard made his way around the bases one station at a time.  He reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second base on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Aaron Shackelford's single, and scored the game's first run on a David Sheaffer sacrifice fly to right field.

An inning later, the Mustangs made it a 3-0 game when Max Maitland drove in deVries, who had reached on a Bethesda error, and Jarrard's fielder's choice plated Matt Janes.

The Mustangs kept up their "score every inning" habit in the third as deVries' one-out sacrifice fly to left field brought home Sheaffer, who had led off the frame with a double.

That 4-0 advantage looked very comfortable with the way Aiden Stout was dealing, at least through the first three innings.  The freshman righthander retired the first nine batters he faced, striking out four of them.

However, it started to unravel in the fourth inning when the Flames took advantage of two Mustang errors to score their first run of the game.  Then in the fifth, Bethesda strung together four hits off Stout in his final inning of work, scoring twice more to pull within 4-3.

After reliever Nate Bonsell stranded two Flames in the sixth, the offense cranked up again in the last half of the inning.

Janes led off with a shot over the fence in left field for his first homer of the season.  Later in the inning, Shackelford created more space when his single scored Maitland, who had singled after Janes' roundtripper, and courtesy runner Ricky Sottile for a 7-3 lead.

That four-run margin disappeared quickly in the top of the seventh, though, as the Flames ganged up on Bonsell, using four hits, a walk, and a hit batsman to tie the game.

All that did was set up Winslow's heroics and deVries's clutch hit that unlocked the tie and led the Mustangs to victory.

As part of the squad's 12-hit attack, Maitland, Shackelford, Jarrard, and Janes had two hits apiece. 

There will be little time to enjoy this win as the club goes back to work on Wednesday, hosting Marymount in another non-conference clash that starts at 3:00pm at Herwaldt Stadium.