Mustangs Sweep Away Westmont
Ben Ives drove in three runs in the opener and A. J. Work went the distance in the nightcap to propel The Master's College to a sweep of Westmont Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara. The Mustangs led wire-to-wire in the 10-5 and 4-2 victories.
Winners of four their past five, including a 3-1 series edge against Westmont, the Mustangs improved to 19-16 overall and 10-12 in the GSAC. It was the club's fifth sweep of the year.
In the opener, the Mustangs got a strong effort from Daniel Sheaffer, who was making his first start of the season after five appearances out of the bullpen. The junior righthander blanked the Warriors over four innings, allowing just four hits and walking no one. He didn't pitch the requisite five innings for a win but he put the club in great shape.
Sheaffer was replaced in the fifth by Tommy Kister and the freshman righthander carried on the superb mound work. He went four innings, the first three of which in shutout fashion. The Warriors broke through against him in the eighth, scoring one time, but by then the Mustangs had scored all of their runs to make Kister (2-1) a winner.
The Mustangs started in on their second-highest scoring output of the year in the top of the first when Tanner Leighton earned a leadoff walk, stole second, advanced to third base on a flyout and scored on Chris Talley's sacrifice fly to right field.
After two scoreless frames, the Mustangs made it 2-0 in the fourth as Joe Riddle singled with one out, raced to third base on Cody Harris' base hit, and scored on Parker Price's sacrifice fly to left field.
That was the calm before the offensive storm as the Mustangs broke the game open an inning later with six runs, all scoring with two outs. The big blow came off the bat of Ives who slammed a three-run homer, his first of the year. That blast was followed by run-scoring doubles by Harris, Price, and Leighton as the Mustangs built an 8-0 lead.
Two innings later, the Mustangs extended their advantage to 10-0 with another two-out rally when Talley doubled in Matt Johnson and J. T. Adams.
That was more than enough to offset the Warriors' late run that only got them to within in five runs before freshman closer James Scott got the final two outs to sew up the win.
The club finished with 15 hits, their second-highest total of the campaign. Three-hit games from Ives and Riddle led the way while Talley and Harris had two apiece.
The nightcap followed the same pattern as the first game but in not so prolific fashion as the Mustangs scored all of their runs before the Warriors could respond.
They started in the third inning when Price reached on a fielder's choice, moved up 90 feet after Harris was walked, and sprinted home on Leighton's single to center field.
An inning later, the Mustangs created some separation, scoring three more runs on three hits. Jared Otto ignited the rally with a leadoff single, Ives followed with a base hit through the left side and Riddle walked to load the bases.
Price brought Otto home on a fielder's choice and then Harris chased Ives and Riddle across the plate with a one-out triple down the right field line.
The Mustangs didn't score again but the way Work was pitching, it was plenty. The sophomore lefthander was absolutely splendid, hurling six shutout innings before the Warriors nicked him for two runs in the seventh and final inning. Until that point he had allowed only four hits. He wound up striking out seven Warriors and recorded a trio of 1-2-3 innings on the way to his fifth (5-2) win of the season.
After rapping out 15 hits in the opener, the Mustangs added six in the nightcap with Leighton and Ives chalking up two apiece.
Playing some of their best ball of the year, the Mustangs move on to a four-game series next week against Pt. Loma Nazarene.