Santa Clarita, Calif.- The Master’s College baseball team played great defense and got big offensive production late in the game against Arizona Christian on Friday afternoon which lead to a 5-1 victory. The win evens the Mustangs record at 2-2 (0-0) and drops the Firestorm to 0-3 (0-0).
This game was a pitchers dual for the first seven innings as each team could only muster one run each. Arizona Christian did manage to bang out seven hits while Master’s only had two hits through the first seven frames.
ACU struck first in the bottom of the second to break the scoreless tie. With one out and runners on first and second, the Firestorm executed a perfect hit and run play to put a run on the board. After that, the Mustangs starting pitcher, AJ Work, would not surrender another run and would leave the game in a 1-1 tie.
Tommy Kister would come on in relief of Work at the beginning of the seventh inning. Kister would not surrender a run over his three innings which allowed him to get the win for TMC.
TMC finally got on the board in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Ironically, the Mustangs did not record a hit in the inning. Jon Popadics reached base on an error by the shortstop, and then stole second and eventually made his way to third on a throwing error by the catcher. With one out, Stephen Karkenny drove a line-drive to center field which scored Popadics to tie the game at 1-1.
Two innings later, the home team put the game away. Ryan Shackelford reached base on a dropped third strike that reached the back-stop. Sam Robison, who pinch-ran for Shackelford, got to second base on a balk by the Firestorm pitcher. A sacrifice bunt from Popadics moved Robison to third, and Tanner Leighton would follow that up with a triple to deep right-center field to break the tie and give Master’s a 2-1 lead. Two walks later the bases were loaded for Cody Harris who delivered a two-out double that cleared the bases and put TMC up 5-1 which would be the final margin.