Shock and Awe
Pt. Loma Nazarene shocked The Master's College in the opener and then just pounded the Mustangs in the nightcap, completing a 14-6 and 9-3 sweep Wednesday afternoon on Reese Field.
It was only second time in 2011 that the Mustangs have been swept. They are now 19-18 overall and 10-14 in the GSAC.
The first-game shock came in the top of the tenth when the Sea Lions, who blew a 6-1 lead, exploded for eight runs to put the game on ice. The big hits were a two-run double from Allen Boyer, a two-run triple from Tyler Kuehl, and a three-run homer off the bat of Edgar Molina.
The Sea Lions' late-game runfest spoiled a spirited comeback by the Mustangs, who scored five times in their final three at-bats, highlighted by Parker Price scoring the game-tying run on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth.
Mustang starter Charlies Gillies, who looked solid through the first two frames, gave up three runs in the top of the third and one more in the fourth as the Sea Lions strolledto a 4-0 lead.
The Mustangs finally dented the scoreboard in the fifth when Ben Ives swatted a leadoff home run, his second roundtripper of the year.
But, that was offset in the top of the seventh when the Sea Lions jumped on reliever Tommy Kister for a pair of runs, highlighted by a Kuehl home run. And, the way Sea Lion starter Garret Levsen was dealing, that 6-1 lead appeared to be very safe.
However, the Mustangs had other ideas. They got to Levsen in the bottom of the seventh, tallying three runs on two hits, all of this happening with two outs. Matt Johnson, hitting for Bryan Lucas got the rally going when he was hit by a pitch. He eventually scored on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Spencer Downs cracked a bases-loaded, two-run single to center field, pulling the Mustangs to within 6-4.
After Kister tossed a shutdown top of the eighth, the Mustangs drew closer in the bottom of the frame, scoring on a pair of two-out doubles by Joe Riddle and Ben Ives.
They completed the comeback in the ninth when Price led off with a single, moved to second on Cody Harris' sacrifice bunt, took third on Tanner Leighton's base hit, and scored on a passed ball.
But, all of that went for naught half an inning later when the Sea Lions picked on Harris (0-1) and Tom Gilbertson.
The Mustangs were outhit 15-10 with Downs, Riddle, Ives, and Price lacing two hits apiece.
There was no stirring rally by the Mustangs in the nightcap as the Sea Lions picked on Mustang ace Tyler Bersano for single runs in each of the first two innings on the way to the win.
Bersano, who dropped to 4-6, went seven innings and gave up five runs on eight hits. He was nicked for two more runs in the top of the fourth and another in the top of the sixth as the Sea Lions forged a 6-1 advantage.
The Mustangs' first run came in the fourth when Leighton led off with a double to left center, stole third, and scored on an error. They halved the deficit two innings later when Downs singled in Leighton and J. T. Adams plated Downs.
But, that was as close as the Mustangs would get as the Sea Lions polished off the win with two runs in each of the eighth and ninth innings.
Leighton and Downs had two hits apiece to pace the Mustangs' nine-hit attack.
The Mustangs will have a chance for some revenge on Saturday when they play another twinbill against the Sea Lions, this time in San Diego.