March 8, 2013
By Mason Nesbitt, TMC Sports Information Intern
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Steven Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) entered Friday's game against Westmont batting .472 with four home runs and 13 rbi in The Master’s College baseball team’s last 10 games.
He had no problem picking up where he left off against the Warriors.
Karkenny went 3-5 with two home runs and six rbi in an 8-5 win (19-7, 12-4 GSAC) that extended the Mustangs' GSAC winning streak to nine games in a row and kept them undefeated on the road (4-0).
Karkenny had an rbi single in the first, hit a solo home run in the third and a grand slam in the fourth. The home runs were his fifth and sixth of the season, tying him for the conference lead.
“I’m just trying to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it. I'm not trying to do too much,” said Karkenny. “I’m seeing the ball well, getting my foot down a little earlier."
The Mustangs had no one on in the fourth with two outs when Cody Harris (Lakewood, CA) doubled, Caleb Halverson (Temple City, CA) and Jon Popadics (Boise, ID) followed with singles, and then Karkenny stepped to the plate and brought everyone home with a blast over the left field fence.
But the Warriors (14-10, 7-8 GSAC) didn’t go down quietly.
Mustang starting pitcher A.J. Work (Boise, ID) flirted with danger early on. He loaded the bases in the first and put runners on first and second with no outs in the second, before finally surrendering a run in the third.
The Warriors chipped away at the Mustangs’ 7-1 fourth-inning lead, scoring two runs, on a home run in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth.
Halverson gave the Mustangs an 8-5 lead in the eighth with a sacrifice fly and Tommy Kister (Saugus, CA) pitched three scoreless innings to earn his sixth save of the year. Kister struck out three and gave up two hits in an outing that Coach Monte Brooks described as "very impressive."
The Mustangs had 11 hits with Karkenny, Popadics and Harris combining for eight of them. Work earned his seventh win of the season (7-1) despite giving up a season-high 11 hits and five runs (three earned).
The Mustangs and Warriors will play again tomorrow in Santa Barbara, squaring off in a doubleheader on the Westmont campus. The first pitch in game one of the twinbill will be thrown at 11am.
- TMC has beaten the Warriors in seven of the teams' last nine meetings.
- Friday was only the Mustangs' fourth road game of the season. All of TMC's conference games are on the road this month. Mustang Coach Monte Brooks commented on the squad’s unusual schedule by saying "I love the challenge for our team! I don’t remember ever in my career being on the road for so long."