April 7, 2017
Santa Clarita, Calif. -- Caleb Menez' two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning drove in the tying and go-ahead runs and Robert Winslow made the slightest of leads stand up in a gutsy, 3-2 TMU victory over No. 9 and first-place Menlo Friday afternoon at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
The victory was the Mustangs' third in a row and vaulted them into fifth place in the GSAC with an 11-11 conference record (21-18 overall). The top five finishers in the GSAC will qualify for the conference tournament that begins the second week of May.
Menez, who had grounded out and struck out in his first two appearances of the afternoon, came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the last of the sixth and took a Andrew Merken pitch to right field, plating courtesy runner Luke Halverson and Aaron Shackelford with the decisive runs.
Winslow took it from there. The sophomore righthander, who threw an eye-popping 144 pitches, stranded a runner at second base in the seventh, retired the side in the eighth, and allowed a two-out double in the ninth before striking out Kama Eldredge to end the game.
Winslow, who went the distance for the second time in 2017, allowed eight hits and struck out a career-high 14 en route to his fourth win of the season (4-5).
One of the hits he surrendered was a two-run homer off the bat of Julian Jarrard in the top of the first that gave the Oaks a quick 2-0 lead. Winslow made sure they would never score again as he lowered his earned-run average to 3.07.
His teammates got one of those runs back in the last half of the frame when Jonah Jarrard grounded a one-out single up the middle and Michael Sexton doubled to left-center field to score courtesy runner Ricky Sottile.
Merken (2-2) matched Winslow with zeroes over the next four innings before Menez came up big in the sixth.
Outhit 8-6, the Mustangs made the most of their hits with Sexton (3-3) producing half of those.
The Mustangs, who are just 2 1/2 games out of third place, will have an opportunity to climb up the GSAC standings tomorrow when they host the Oaks in a doubleheader that starts at 11:00am at Herwaldt Stadium.