January 17, 2013

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – A new season is just around the corner for The Master’s College baseball team.

The squad finished its 2012 campaign with a 34-21 record and ended 16-16 in the Golden State Athletic Conference.  The Mustangs ventured into the postseason by making an appearance in the 2012 GSAC Tournament where they topped Biola in dramatic fashion 9-8 in the opening round, fell to Concordia 6-0 in the next round, followed by a season-ending 7-4 loss to Westmont.

Losing seven key assets in the offseason, most notably pitching ace Charlie Gillies (Castaic, CA), who was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 10th round of the 2012 MLB draft, 16th-year head coach Monte Brooks entered the offseason facing the need to reload his roster with the talent necessary to make a run for a national title.

After months of recruiting trips and interviews, here is an overview of the new faces and talent that Brooks will debut for the Mustangs in 2013:

#13 Andrew Klausmeier:

The junior pitcher from Northridge, California, has an extensive background that includes a four-year varsity stint at Chatsworth High school where he was a key part of two consecutive CIF Los Angeles City Section championships, and was named first-team All-CIF Los Angeles City Section.  Klausmeier repeated his all-league honors following his final prep season.

Before joining the Mustangs, Klausmeier played two years for the NCAA Div. II CSU Dominguez Hills Toros, where in 2010 as a freshman he made 19 appearances on the mound, including one start.  Klausmeier wasn’t scored on in 12 of the 19 outings, chalked up four wins, and fashioned a 3.20 ERA.  In 2011 he went to the hill 14 times, all out of the bullpen, and struck out 19 in 19.2 innings of work while recording two saves.

Coach Monte Brooks describes Klausmeier as an enthusiastic player that possesses hard and nasty “out” pitches and is excellent when he stays ahead of batters.

#4 Brett Piper:

A seasoned infielder and outfielder from Saugus, California, Brett Piper transfers as a junior to The Master’s College after a two-year stint at College of the Canyons.  In his second year as a Cougar, Piper’s skill set improved drastically at the top of the order where he hit .273, scored 19 runs, and had a .367 on-base percentage.  Piper also led the club with seven sacrifice bunts.

Before that, Piper spent his prep career at Saugus High School where he was a two-year varsity performer for the Centurions.  Piper showed his versatility as a junior, alternating as a starter between second base, the outfield, and designated hitter. In his final season as a Centurion, Piper started at second and hit .347 with two home runs and 21 RBI en route to first-team All-Foothill League honors

Coach Brooks describes Piper as a very versatile player who brings quality experience and has already established a solid “trust factor” with his teammates. Brooks looks forward to Piper coming through as a clutch player for the Mustangs for 2013.

#21 Anthony Leal:

A sophomore outfielder from San Juan Capistrano, California, Leal joins the Mustangs after recovering from a season-ending injury as a freshman at GSAC rival Vanguard.

Leal’s background includes an impressive high school career at San Juan Hills High School, where he was a three-year varsity performer for the Stallions.  Leal proved to be very versatile playing in the outfield and contributing as a designated hitter. In his senior year, Leal batted .386, making the All-Sea View League team.

Coach Brooks highlights Leal’s play as one with solid pop in his bat and an authoritative swing, and is solid in the infield.  Leal is also described as being an excellent runner who is suited for a corner slot in the outfield.

#8 Dalton Thompson:

A freshman kinesiology major from King High School in Riverside, California, Thompson is described by coach Brooks as a player with great potential as a middle reliever.

Thompson brings quality experience to the Mustangs with a great fastball, breaking ball, and an impressive live arm.  Thompson will be working on his fundamental mechanics, but has the potential to be throwing in the ‘90’s.

#10 Nalu Polancic:

Hailing from Vista, California, is Nalu Polancic.  A freshman utility player, who gleaned invaluable experience at Calvary Christian High School, is described by Mustang coach Monte Brooks as being extremely athletic, strong and very raw.

Nalu enters his first year at TMC as a very versatile, confident and composed athlete, who is very comfortable in the outfield. Nalu is expected to gain experience in his freshman year with the Mustangs in 2013.

#17 Tucker Richardson:

Richardson, a native from Modesto, California, enters The Master’s College after a two-year stint at Modesto Junior College where he honed his pitching skills under the tutelage of head coach Bo Aiello.

Weighing in at 195 and standing at 6-6, Richardson is described by Mustang coach Monte Brooks as a “tall, lanky, but effective pitcher.”  Richardson’s pitching reputation relies on his ability to make batters miss by throwing a hard sinker along with a slider. He’s expected to come out of the pen for the Mustangs in the appropriate situations.

#15 Justyn Lee:

A freshman pitcher from Calabasas, California, Lee joins the Mustang’s in 2013 after a playing two years on the Coyotes’ varsity squad, starting along the way at second base, shortstop, and pitcher. Lee posted a 1.95 earned-run average in 14 innings of work in his junior year. A year later, Lee worked 32 innings on the hill and was named to the All-Ventura County East All-Star Team following his senior season.

Coach Brooks and his Mustangs begin the 2013 campaign in their home opener against Simpson University on January 18 at 2:00 PM.

To view the complete 2013 Mustang Baseball roster, please click here.