Cal State San Marcos scored half their runs in a six-run fourth inning and went on to beat The Master's College 12-6 Tuesday afternoon in San Marcos.
The non-conference loss was the second in a row for the Mustangs and dropped them to 24-22 overall.
The fourth inning explosion by the Cougars came at the expense of Mustang starter J. T. Adams (3-5) but was aided by three TMC errors that led to a trio of unearned runs. Adams was chased with two outs in the inning and was charged with six earned runs on 11 hits.
Adams' rocky outing got off to a bumpy start in the first when he surrendered three runs on a like number of hits.
But, the sophomore lefthander helped himself at the plate in the top of the third when the Mustangs rallied for a pair of runs to close to within 3-2. Ryan Shackelford drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base on Tanner Leighton's single through the left side. Cody Harris moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt and Adams plated both Shackelford and Leighton with a two-run single.
After the Cougars went up 9-2, the Mustangs responded with two runs in the fifth and Shackelford was the catalyst once again. He doubled to lead off the frame and Leighton promptly singled him home. Leighton then swiped second and third bases, respectively, and raced home when the Cougar catcher threw the ball away trying to nab him at third.
The Cougars, picking on a trio of Mustang relievers, scored a single run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to lengthen the advantage to 12-4.
The Mustangs closed out the afternoon's scoring in the top of the ninth, parlaying long ball and small ball into two runs. Shackelford, capping off a big day, slugged his first collegiate home run, a one-out blast over the left field fence. Leighton earned first base when he was hit by a pitch and immediately stole second and kept on going to third on an error. He scored moments later on Spencer Downs' double.
Outhit 15-9, the Mustangs were led by Shackelford and Leighton who had two hits apiece.
With Easter weekend approaching and no games on the schedule, the Mustangs will take a breather until April 27 when they resume GSAC play with a single game at Biola.