Error Leads to Split
Tanner Leighton scored on an error with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning and The Master's College pulled out a 3-2 win over No. 3 California Baptist in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader in Santa Clarita. In the opener, the Lancers played long ball in an 8-6 victory over the Mustangs.
The split was the Mustangs' fourth of the year and moved their record to 16-15 overall and 7-11 in the GSAC.
Leighton drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the tenth and moved to second base on Ryan Shackelford's sacrifice bunt. J. T. Adams joined Leighton on the bases after being hit by a pitch but when Chris Talley's fly to right field was misplayed, Leighton raced around third and scored the winning run.
The run made a winner out of reliever James Scott (2-0) who struck out four Lancers in three shutout innings. He followed a strong effort by starter A. J. Work, who went seven innings, striking out five, and allowing six hits.
The only runs Work allowed were unearned and came in the top of the third when the Lancers scored twice. In the bottom of the frame, the Mustangs halved the deficit when Ben Ives doubled and scored on Cody Harris' single.
Two innings later, the Mustangs caught the Lancers, capitalizing on a CBU miscue, one of five errors they committed in the nightcap. Bryan Lucas, leading off the inning, reached on the error and later in the inning, courtesy runner James Sloan scored on Adams' two-out single through the right side.
The 2-2 score held up over the next five innings until the Lancers' fifth and final error gave the Mustangs a gift of a win.
In the opener, the Lancers flexed their muscles, swatting three home runs en route to the two-run win.
They didn't use the long ball in the top of the first when they took advantage of Adams' wildness to take a 1-0 lead. They worked three walks off the Mustang starter and a sacrifice fly by Josh Manzano put the Lancers ahead.
But, in the bottom of the second, the Mustangs vaulted ahead with a trio of runs on three hits. Talley ignited the rally with a walk and Joe Riddle chased him to third with a double to right field. After Spencer Downs struck out, Ives slapped a two-run single to left field. Moments later, he raced around to third base on a Lucas two-bagger and scored on Harris' groundout.
However, that 3-1 lead lasted all of half an inning as the Lancers got the first of their three roundtrippers, a solo shot from Kevin Odom and an rbi single by Manzano to even the score in the top of the third.
Then, two innings later with the score still knotted, the Lancers pounded a pair of two-run homers to go up 7-3. Brian Sharp swatted the first two-run shot with one out and then Sharif Othman hit a two-out, two-run home run.
The Mustangs never caught up but they made it plenty interesting. After watching the Lancers' power display in the top of the fifth, the Mustangs went out in the bottom of the frame and sliced into the deficit with a pair of runs.
After sandwiching singles from Harris and Parker Price around a walk to Leighton, Adams bounced into a double play with Harris scoring. Then a Lancer error, one of three in the opener, plated Leighton, drawing the Mustangs to within 7-5.
But, the Lancers responded in the top of the sixth, nicking reliever Tommy Kister for a run on a single, a sacrifice bunt, and an Odom double.
The three-run margin held up until the bottom of the ninth when the Mustangs had an opportunity to tie things up. With one out, Ives reached on an error and Lucas moved him to second base with a single to right field. Harris drove in Ives with a base hit through the left field and when Leighton's fly ball to left field moved Harris and Lucas up 90 feet, the Mustangs were a hit away from knotting the score.
But, Price bounced back to the pitcher and the Lancers survived.
Outhit 13-8, the Mustangs were led by Lucas and Harris with two hits apiece.
After splitting the four-game series with the tough Lancers, the Mustangs move on to another four-game set next week as Westmont comes to town for single games on Wednesday and Thursday.