Quite An Offense!
Chris Talley and Joe Riddle drove in three runs apiece and The Master’s College posted season-highs in runs and hits on the way to a 17-5 whipping of Claremont Wednesday afternoon.
The victory was the club’s fourth in a row and improved their early-season record to 5-2.
Talley and Riddle had both been struggling at the plate over the first two weeks of the season with the former hitting .190 and the latter hitting .220. But they enjoyed a breakout of sorts against the Stags as Talley went 4-6, raising his average over 100 points, while Riddle went 3-4 and finished the day batting .385.
Following a scoreless first inning, Talley was the impetus for the game’s first run in the second. He led off with a double and following a walk to Spencer Toth, Bryan Lucas brought him home with a single.
The Stags wasted no time in equaling that in the bottom of the frame, using a walk, a stolen base, an error, and a sacrifice fly to tie the game at one.
It didn’t stay that way for long, though, as the Mustangs erupted for five runs in the top of the third and never looked back. They rapped out six hits and five those were of the run-scoring variety, highlighted by a trio of doubles. Steven Karkenny’s one-out double snapped the tie, scoring Jonathan Popadics who had worked a leadoff walk.
Karkenny scored on a two-bagger by Spencer Downs and then Toth doubled him home for a 4-1 lead.
Lucas’s second single in as many innings plated Toth and Bryan Mitchell capped the outburst with a base hit that scored Lucas, giving the Mustangs a five-run cushion.
That gave starter Daniel Sheaffer plenty to work with and the junior southpaw produced a shutdown inning in the third and then blanked the Stags once again in the fourth.
Senior righthander Tom Gilbertson, who replaced Sheaffer in the fifth, and sophomore Jeremiah Graff continued to silence the Claremont bats, producing two more innings of gooseggs.
Meanwhile, the Mustang bats went back to work in the top of the sixth, tallying five more runs to turn the game into a rout. This time, though, they did it on only three hits, but taking advantage of two Stag errors they scored three unearned runs.
Talley singled in a pair of runs with a bases-loaded single, Riddle added an rbi base hit, Harris produced a sacrifice fly, and Popadics made it 11-1 with another bases-loaded single.
An inning later, Talley expanded the lead to 11 runs when he clubbed a two-out home run, his first roundtripper of the year.
The Stags’ offense finally got untracked in the bottom of the seventh inning, roughing up freshman Bryce Clancy to the tune of four runs on just two hits.
Veteran hurlers Tommy Kister and Zack Anderson threw a scoreless inning apiece and the Mustangs finished off a very productive day with a big ninth inning.
Rapping out six more hits, the Mustangs posted their third five-run inning of the game in their final at-bat. Leading the way was Riddle, who drove in a pair of runs with a single, while Karkenny, Sam Robison, and Ryan Shackelford knocked in one run apiece.
Complementing Talley and Riddle were Karkenny, Downs, and Lucas who had two hits apiece.
After playing their first game on the road, the Mustangs return home this weekend to host Patten University of Oakland in a three-game series beginning on Friday. The first pitch will be thrown at 2:00pm.