History was made Thursday afternoon on Reese Field. Unfortunately, for The Master’s College, it’s not the kind they’ll look back on fondly nor do they ever want to repeat.
Because, Vanguard’s Antonio Peraza, doing what every pitcher dreams of, threw a no-hitter against the Mustangs while the Lions scored eight late runs to win 8-0. The no-no was significant enough but the loss also snapped a five-game winning streak for the Mustangs, leaving them 3-1 in the GSAC and 12-5 overall.
Peraza, who allowed just four Mustangs to reach base, almost lost the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning when pinch-hitter James Scott lofted a long fly ball to left field that Jacob Domingos gathered in before crashing into the fence, setting off a jubilant celebration by the Lions.
Forgotten in the post-game madhouse was the pitching of Mustang starter Tyler Bersano who matched Peraza goosegg for goosegg through the first six frames. He allowed just three hits in that span before running into deep trouble in the seventh.
In that inning, the senior righthander recorded just one out as the Lions rapped out six hits and scored four runs. After chasing Bersano, the Lions went to work on relievers Tom Gilbertson and Mason Nesbitt, nicking the pair for four more runs in the eighth.
The Mustangs drew three walks off Peraza and used an error to put another runner on base. One of those free passes was to leadoff hitter Tanner Leighton in the bottom of the first. He quickly moved to second on a Peraza balk, advanced to third on a groundout, but died there.
Leighton reached base again in the eighth, this time on a Lion miscue with two outs. He promptly swiped second base, his team-leading 16th steal of the year, but went no further when Jared Otto went down on strikes.
Tied at one game apiece halfway through the clubs’ four-game series, the teams resume play on Saturday with a doubleheader in Costa Mesa.