March 24, 2017
Phoenix, Ariz. -- Arizona Christian scored three runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth to race past The Master's University 9-4 Friday afternoon in the Valley of the Sun.
The loss was the Mustangs' sixth in their past seven outings as they fell to 15-17 overall and 6-10 in the Golden State Athletic Conference.
The Mustangs were clinging to a 2-1 lead through six innings on the right arm of sophomore starter Robert Winslow, who had three-hit the Firestorm to that point. Then things started to unravel in the seventh when an error led to three Firestorm runs, all unearned, and a 4-2 deficit.
Winslow (3-4) pitched into the eighth and was lifted before an out was posted, finishing his seven-inning stint allowing six runs (three of them earned) on seven hits and striking out four.
In Winslow's absence, the Firestorm pounded away at relievers Grant Collins and Eric Williams, adding five runs on six hits in the frame to go up 9-2.
The Mustangs added two runs in the top of the ninth on a Moises Garcia single and a David Sheaffer double to close out the scoring.
Much earlier, the Mustangs had forged a 2-0 advantage with single runs in the first and fourth innings. In their initial at-bat of the game, the Mustangs used a lead-off single by Max Maitland and a two-out double from Jonah Jarrard to take a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, Jarrard led off with single, moved to second base on Caleb Menez' infield single, and courtesy runner Ethan Brandt eventually scored on a Sheaffer sacrifice fly to center field.
The Firestorm nicked Winslow for a run in the last of the fourth to halve the deficit, however, the righthander was still very much in control, shutting down ACU over the next two innings.
Then came the fateful seventh when things got out of control and a much-needed win turned into another frustrating loss.
On an otherwise disappointing afternoon, the Mustang offense did manage to rap out 10 hits with Jarrard going 3-4 while Sheaffer and Maitland had two hits apiece.
The Mustangs get an opportunity to turn things around on Saturday when they play the Firestorm in a doubleheader that starts at 11:00am.