Murphy's Law

May 12, 2014

Santa Clarita, CA -- Corey Murphy tossed a five-hit shutout and his teammates produced one big inning as Davenport of Michigan defeated The Master's College 4-0 on the first day of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round in Placerita Canyon.

The loss dropped the Mustangs (37-17) into the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tourney where they will fight for survival against fellow GSAC opponent Vanguard on Tuesday morning.  The Lions were blanked 1-0 by the University of British Columbia in the day's first game.

There wasn't a whole lot the Mustangs could do againt Murphy who allowed just five hits, struck out four, and walked one in his sixth complete-game effort of the campaign.  The sophomore righthander retired the Mustangs in order four times and induced a trio of doubleplays, none bigger than one turned in the fourth inning when the club loaded the bases with no outs.

In that frame, Jonathan Popadics (Boise, ID) drew a lead-off walk, moved to second base on Steve Karkenny's (Chatsworth, CA) bunt single, and then advanced to third when Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) reached on catcher's interference to load the bases.  However, Andrew Klausmeier (Northridge, CA) struck out and Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA) bounced into a heart-wrenching, inning-ending twin-killing.

By that time, Murphy had four runs to work with as the Panthers roughed up Mustang starter Tommy Kister (Saugus, CA) to the tune of four runs on a like number of hits in their initial at-bat.  A run-scoring double, two rbi singles, and a run-scoring groundout gave the visitors a 4-0 lead against Kister (6-6) who lasted just that one frame.

He was replaced by freshman Jason Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) who shut out the Panthers the rest of the way on just two hits.

Now, the Mustangs will try to stave off elimination on Tuesday when they face a Vanguard squad they beat four out of seven times in 2014.  One of those losses, though, was a 1-0 defeat in the first round of the GSAC Tournament.  The winner will move on to play at 3:00 on Tuesday while the loser will see its season come to an end.