March 17, 2017
Santa Clarita, Calif. -- A season-long bugaboo came back to bite The Master's University Friday afternoon when five errors led to four unearned runs in a 7-4 loss to Biola at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
The "unearned" loss dropped the Mustangs to 5-8 (14-14 overall) in the GSAC where they trail first-place Vanguard by six games.
Mustang starter Jason Karkenny (4-2) endured a lot in just three innings of work, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and then watching errors in the second and third frames lead to six Eagle runs.
Biola's Anj Bourgeois doubled in the game's first run in the second inning and then scored on an error by Mustang shortstop Aaron Shackelford.
An inning later, the Eagles' lead mushroomed to 6-0 when they parlayed three hits and another Mustang miscue into four runs.
The Mustangs dented the scoreboard in the last half of the third when Ryan Bricker reached on an infield hit, advanced to second base after Max Maitland drew a walk, and scored easily on Shackelford's one-out double down the left-field line.
The 6-1 score held up over the next five innings as the Mustangs were unable to capitalize on multiple scoring chances. They put the first two runners on in the fourth inning but a double play didn't help. In the sixth, Dalton deVries and Matt Janes reached on singles, however, another double play wiped out that threat and in the eighth they stranded two more.
The Mustangs had those chances to get back in the game because reliever Nate Bonsell was dealing. The junior lefty, who retired nine in arrow in one span, hurled five hitless and scoreless innings, and struck out three.
The Eagles finally put an end to the scoring drought in the top of the ninth, moving ahead 7-1 on two singles and a sacrifice fly.
After stringing together seven hits through the first eight innings with only one run to show for it, the Mustangs got to Biola starter Jimmy Gallarda in their final at-bat and almost made a game of it. Bricker doubled in Ethan Brandt, who had led off the frame with a single, a Maitland infield out plated Caleb Menez, and a Shackelford sacrifice fly scored Bricker to slice the deficit to 7-4.
However, after a Jonah Jarrard double, the Mustangs couldn't keep the rally going and their chances died on a strikeout.
Outhitting the Eagles 11-8, the Mustangs were led by Shackelford, Bricker, and David Sheaffer, who had two hits apiece.
The Mustangs will have two opportunities on Saturday to put an end to a three-game losing streak when they host the Eagles in a doubleheader that starts at noon.