May 13, 2014
Santa Clarita, CA -- Eddie Rivera fired a one-hit shutout and Vanguard scored early and late to beat The Master's College 2-0 Tuesday morning, eliminating the Mustangs from the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
The shutout was the second suffered by the club in as many days and the third in its last four starts going back to the first round of the GSAC Tournament nearly two weeks ago. It was enough to keep the Mustangs from defending their Opening Round crown won last year while ending their season at 37-18.
The culprit in this one was Vanguard starter Eddie Rivera, who extended his scoreless streak against the Mustangs to 23 and a third innings with an absolute gem. He pitched nine scoreless innings without earning a decision in the Lions' 11-inning, 1-0 win over the Mustangs in a GSAC tourney game on May 1 and held them scoreless over the last five and a third frames back on April 5.
He retired 12 of the first 13 Mustangs he faced and didn't allow his only hit until Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA) doubled with one out in the fifth inning. James Scott (Canyon Country, CA) drew a walk to put two runners on base and they both moved up 90 feet on a Josh Brown (Valencia, CA) sacrifice bunt before being stranded.
That was as close as they would get to scoring as Rivera (7-3), despite showing some wildness (two hit batsmen and a walk) over the final three innings, closed the Mustangs out to preserve the win and keep his team alive in the tournament.
Overshadowed by Rivera's excellence was Mustang starter Andrew Klausmeier (5-3) who went the distance for the first time in 2014, allowing just five hits and striking out two Lions in a strong showing.
The only blemishes, enough to doom Klausmeier and the Mustangs, came in the second and eighth innings, respectively. In the second inning, the Lions used a leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly to score the game's first run.
Six innings later, the Lions got some help from a Mustang error, sandwiching a pair of singles around that and a stolen base to add some insurance.
The Mustangs had a final gasp in the ninth when Steve Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and swiped second base before dying there on a game-ending flyout.