Soaring to Victory
March 22, 2013
By Sam Taber, TMC Sports Information Intern.
SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- The Master’s College Mustangs travelled to San Diego Christian to face the red-hot Hawks. After another three-and-a-half hour game that stretched into eleven innings, the Mustangs held out for the win and came away with their 24th overall victory. They continue to lead the GSAC with a conference record of 16-6. San Diego Christian is 21-11 overall and 11-11 in the GSAC.
Mustang ace A.J. Work (Boise, ID) led off for TMC, tossing six and a third innings and giving up five earned runs on eight hits. Work walked two and struck out six along the way. Work was followed by Tommy Kister (Saugus, CA), who took over midway through the seventh. Kister pitched just two thirds of an inning, striking out both batters that he faced. Cody Harris (Lakewood, CA) then took the hill.
After a solid eighth inning, Haris blew TMC’s three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth when he gave up a three-run homer to Chad Erickson. Harris rebounded well and threw a no-hit tenth inning before being replaced by Tucker Richardson (Modesto, CA), who closed the game in the eleventh. Harris got the win, his first of the season, and Richardson got the save, his first as well.
The Mustang’s offense was led by the ever-dominant Steven Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA). Karkenny went 4-5, scoring a run and driving in three. He also crushed his seventh home run of the season, a bomb to left field in the top of the first inning.
In the top of the ninth, with the game tied at six and two outs, Karkenny found himself at the plate with Sam Robison (San Juan Capistrano, CA) on second base and Jonathan Popadics (Boise, ID) on first. Karkenny singled up the middle, scoring Sam Robison from second base to give TMC the go-ahead run. Minutes later, Spencer Downs (Kelso, WA) tripled to center field, scoring Popadics and Karkenny to give the Mustangs a 9-6 lead.
Though the Hawks tied the game in the ninth and sent it into extra innings, Brett Piper (Saugus, CA) drew an RBI walk in the top of the eleventh to give the Mustangs a 10-9 lead, and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Shackelford put TMC up 11-9.
Gabriel Hemmer opened the game for the Hawks. Though he only threw five innings and gave up five earned runs and seven hits, he did strike out eight Mustang batters. Brock Heerdt took over in the sixth, throwing three and two thirds innings and giving up two earned runs. He was followed by Jeremy Blare, who gave up a run and recorded no outs, and Cipirano Garza, who also recorded no outs and gave up two runs. David Johnson finally struck out Spencer Toth (Asheville, NC) to end the ninth. He pitched through the tenth and into the eleventh. Steven Bunnell came on in the top of the eleventh, but gave up two walks and a run and was replaced by Kelvan Pilot. Pilot was replaced by Jesse Hernandez, the eighth Hawk pitcher to work the mound in today’s game. The loss officially went to Johnson, who is now 3-1.
Jeff Lusardi and Chad Erickson led the offensive charge for the Hawks, combining for seven hits and five runs. Erickson singlehandedly drove in six runs and belted two homers, one of which tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and forced extra innings.
The Mustangs will play the Hawks again tomorrow in a doubleheader that begins at 12:00 p.m on the campus of San Diego Christian.