April 4, 2013

By Mason Nesbitt, TMC Sports Information Intern

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – The Master’s College baseball team has only nine Golden State Athletic Conference games standing between it and its first GSAC title since 2003.

Entering a three-game series in Newhall this weekend against Vanguard, the first-place Mustangs (29-11, 19-8 GSAC) hold a two and a half game lead over Concordia.

Vanguard (16-21, 9-15 GSAC) is the GSAC’s last-place team, but Mustang head coach Monte Brooks knows what they’re capable of doing.

“Vanguard has enough talent to beat anybody and they’ve proven it,” said Brooks. “They’ve beaten everybody in the league at least once (except TMC).”

After Concordia shut them out twice last week, the Mustangs got their bats going on Tuesday, sweeping a doubleheader from La Sierra University, 10-0 and 10-1. TMC recorded 28 hits on the day.

“The games against La Sierra got our confidence up, so we can go into our series with Vanguard feeling good and ready to go,” said TMC right fielder Steven Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA).

Staying hot at the plate shouldn’t be a problem for TMC against a Vanguard pitching staff with a GSAC worst 4.16 ERA.

However, the Mustangs may want to force Vanguard into their bullpen early.  Two Vanguard starting pitchers have respectable 3.72 earned run averages, one of which has a .230 batting average against.

“Their starting pitching is solid, it’s a strength of their team,” said Brooks.

Thanks in large part to their own starting pitching, TMC swept Vanguard in Costa Mesa on Feb. 15 and 16 by a combined score of 14-3.

A.J. Work (Boise, ID), James Scott (Canyon Country, CA), and Tyler Elrod (Modesto, CA), TMC’s starting rotation, dominated the series and will have the opportunity to do it again Friday at 3:00pm, and in a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday.

To watch the series live, click here. To follow the series live via live stats, click here.