|Mustangs Get Out The Broom|
Proving it could get the job done with a lot and very little, The Master’s College baseball team swept Patten University 11-4 and 2-1 Saturday afternoon on Reese Field. The win, following Friday’s season-opening loss to the Lions, gave the Mustangs a series win on the 2011 season’s first weekend.
In the opener, the Mustangs scored plenty of runs. It just took them awhile. But, in the end, it was a sparkling relief performance that kept the Mustangs in the game while the offense waited to explode.
For the second day in a row, the Mustangs were blanked through the first four frames. Meanwhile, the Lions jumped on Mustang starter J. T. Adams for four runs in the top of the fourth.
But, an inning later, the offense finally got untracked. Making the most of just two hits, the Mustangs scored four times to knot the game. The first run came across on Adams’ bases-loaded groundout that scored Joe Riddle and the other three were plated on Chris Talley’s three-run homer, a two-out shot to left field for the club’s first roundtripper of the season.
Two innings later, the long ball sparked a five-run outburst that put the Mustangs in front for good. But, that was all made possible by 4 2/3 innings of outstanding relief from Charlie Gillies. After the Lions knocked out Adams in the fourth, the junior transfer came in and shut them down and out through the eighth inning. He left after striking out six and allowing just two hits, and when his teammates put the five-spot on the board in the seventh, he was in position for his first win at TMC.
The uprising was highlighted by the long ball as Adams’ one-out, two-run home run over the right field fence put the Mustangs ahead 5-4. Later in the inning, the Mustangs benefitted from a Lion error to tally another run and Riddle capped things off with another big two-out hit, a two-run double to the gap in right center, scoring James Sloan and Cody Harris.
An inning later, the Mustangs padded their lead when another Lion miscue led to one run and Bryan Lucas finished off the scoring with a two-out single up the middle to plate Ben Ives.
Tanner led the Mustangs’ 11-hit attack with three hits while Talley, Lucas, and Riddle had two apiece.
The nightcap featured a lot less scoring and a lot more drama. Once again, the Mustangs fell behind when the Lions tagged Mustang starter A. J. Work for a run in the top of the first. But, that was all the scoring the sophomore southpaw allowed through six innings of superb pitching.
Again, it took a while for the Mustang offense to produce some runs. They had plenty of chances in the first three innings but stranded six runners, unable to get the big hits that characterized the first-game win.
That all changed in the top of the fourth. Harris drew a leadoff walk but was still at first base two outs later when Ives’ fly ball to center field was muffed, allowing Harris to score the tying run. Then, Tyler Leighton stepped up and lined a clutch single up the middle, bringing Ives home from second base for a 2-1 lead.
Work made that slightest of advantages stand up through the sixth inning, although he did leave a pair of runners on in each of the fourth and fifth frames, respectively. He finished his stint with a three-hitter and five strikeouts.
Senior righthander Tom Gilbertson took over in the seventh and final inning and finished the job, but it wasn’t easy. He allowed a leadoff single and a one-out base hit, but Lucas gunned down a Lion trying to steal third and Gilbertson finished off the sweep and earned a save by inducing a game-ending flyout.
The Mustangs were limited to four hits and Harris had two of those.
The Mustangs play 12 of their first 15 at home but the three of those on the road come next weekend when they travel to Phoenix to play a doubleheader against Southwestern on Friday and a single game at Grand Canyon on Saturday.