|Matt At The Bat|
Concordia’s Matt Ivanoff slugged a home run and knocked in five runs as the Eagles eased by The Master’s College for the second day in a row, beating the Mustangs 11-5 Wednesday afternoon on Reese Field.
The loss was the Mustangs’ sixth in a row, dropping them into eighth place in the GSAC with a 4-8 record (13-12 overall).
Ivanoff, the Eagles’ centerfielder, had a perfect day at the plate, going 4-4 with two runs scored and his five rbi. He started with a first-inning single but it was his next three at-bats that really changed the course of the game.
In the top of the third with his club trailing 1-0, he doubled in two runs that put his team ahead for good and sparked a four-run uprising. Then in the sixth inning, he went deep over the right field fence, a three-run shot that capped another four-run outburst for an 8-1 lead. The only time he didn’t get a hit was in the eighth but even there he walked as a part of a two-run inning for the relentless Eagles.
Ivanoff’s damaging plate production came off Mustang starter Tyler Bersano who slipped to 3-4 after giving up seven earned runs in six innings of work.
On the other hand, for what seemed the umpteenth time, the Mustangs ran into a hot pitcher. This time it was Brent Clapper. The junior righthander went eight strong innings, striking out seven and allowing two earned runs.
Those two runs were separated by five innings and the final three tallies came in a meaningless bottom of the ninth. The Mustangs jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first when Tanner Leighton singled with one out, stole second and third, and scored on Joe Riddle’s double to right field.
In the sixth inning, the Mustangs made it an 8-2 game when Matt Johnson led off with a single to right center field, advanced to second on a foul flyout, and scored on Jared Otto’s single up the middle.
The Mustangs, who collected 11 hits on the afternoon, strung together four of those in the bottom of the ninth en route to three runs. Two of the runs came off the bat of Bryan Lucas who belted a home run over the right center field fence, his second blast of the year. Later in the inning, Parker Price, who singled following Lucas’ long ball, scored the game’s final run on a Tanner Leighton groundout.
Price, Otto, and Ben Ives had two hits apiece for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs will have a couple of days off to lick their wounds before meeting the Eagles again. This time, though, it will be in Irvine where the clubs will square off in a Saturday twinbill.