Big Innings Doom Mustangs Twice
March 28, 2014
Santa Clarita, CA -- Using a six-run inning in the opener and a five-run frame in the nightcap, 12th-ranked Concordia dealt The Master's College its first doubleheader sweep of the season, leapfrogging the Mustangs into first place in the GSAC with 8-3 and 6-0 wins Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
The No. 7 Mustangs, who have enjoyed four sweeps so far this season, felt the sting of this one, dropping out of first place in conference play for the first time in 2014, falling to 17-10 in the GSAC and 27-10 overall. The club now trails both Concordia and San Diego Christian by half a game.
The Mustangs struck quickly in the opener when Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) led off the last half of the first inning with his third home run of the season, a blast over the left field fence.
That slightest of leads held up through the first four frames as starting pitcher Tommy Kister (Saugus, CA) thrived, retiring the first eight batters he faced and limiting the Eagles to just one hit in that span.
The Mustangs had a chance to add to their advantage in the third and fourth innings, respectively, but stranded two runners in each of those frames. That inability to come up with the big hit would haunt them the rest of the game.
It started in the fifth when the Eagles used a single, a Mustang error, and a groundout to knot the game.
An inning later, the Mustangs regained the lead, their final advantage of the afternoon, when Sam Robison (San Juan Capistrano, CA) drew a one-out walk, stole second base an out later, and scored on Josh Brown's (Valencia, CA) two-out single up the middle.
Just minutes after it looked hopeful for the Mustangs it all fell apart in a barrage of Eagle runs and hits as the visitors exploded for six runs on five hits in the top of the seventh, knocking Kister out of the game and turning a one-run deficit into a 7-2 lead.
They added another run in the eighth and the Mustangs matched that in the last half of that inning when Brown doubled in Robison who had singled earlier, but it was too little too late.
In defeat, Kister (3-3) dropped his third straight decision while Robison and Brown collected two hits apiece as the Mustangs were outhit 12-7.
The clubs combined for only nine hits in the nightcap and the Eagles needed just one of their four during a wild second inning when three Mustang hurlers combined to walk six batters, four of those with the bases loaded, leading to five runs and a deficit that would never be sliced into.
Keegan Yuhl made sure of that. The Concordia righthander (8-2), leader of the GSAC's best pitching staff, stifled the Mustangs on just five hits in a seven-inning complete game, setting down the first 11 batters he faced and recording seven of his 10 strikeouts in that window on the way to shutting out TMC for only the second time in 2014.
The Mustangs put runners in scoring position in each of their final three at-bats but couldn't break through against Yuhl.
Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA), making his first start of the season, was tagged with the loss (0-1) after lasting just one and two-thirds innings.
Once again, Robison paced the Mustangs with two hits.
Now, the Mustangs, who have lost two series in a row and four of their past six games, take some time off from conference play to host La Sierra in a doubleheader on Tuesday (12 noon start) before hitting the road next weekend in Costa Mesa where they'll face a very hot Vanguard club that has won six of its past seven to draw within one game of first place in the GSAC.