By Mason Nesbitt, For TMC Sports Information
March 21, 2014
The Master’s College baseball team lost two things to the San Diego Christian College Hawks on Friday: a game and possession of first place.
TMC entered the weekend series leading the Hawks by a half game in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings, but after a 7-3 loss at Pete Reese Field, the Mustangs fell a half game behind.
“San Diego capitalized on the error in the fifth and the missed comebacker to get their runs,” said TMC head coach Monte Brooks.
The error in the fifth came with two outs when TMC’s right fielder Tyler Krahn dropped a difficult line drive, allowing the batter to reach safely and San Diego’s Richard Aguirre to advance to third. Aguirre had reached on a two-out walk.
Cade Gotta followed with a two-run triple for San Diego (24-8 overall, 15-6 in GSAC) to cut TMC’s lead to 3-2.
San Diego’s Mark Vasquez shut out TMC (25-7, 15-7) for the last six innings he pitched, after allowing a two-run home run to TMC’s Joe Riddle in the first.
The Mustangs, who beat San Diego in the NAIA Opening Round Championship to advance to the World Series last season, had runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but a double play ended the scoring threat.
In the top of the eighth, Mustang starting-pitcher Andrew Klausmeier couldn’t field a comebacker from San Diego’s Christian Johnson, and the GSAC’s best offense was off. The Hawks, who entered the game with a .315 team batting average, tallied four runs on four hits in the eighth en route to a 6-3 lead.
Klausmeier dominated the Hawks through the first four innings, and was good through seven before Jason Karkenny relieved him in the eighth.
Ryan Shackelford posted three hits for TMC, which has lost four of its last seven games. Riddle and Steven Karkenny added two hits each for the Mustangs.
Gotta was 3-for-4 for San Diego, which also got two hits from Chad Erickson.
“It ‘s fun competing against San Diego,” Karkenny said, “it’s high stakes, first-place is on the line, and they want it as bad as we do.
“If we go about our business, it will be a fun game tomorrow.”