Santa Clarita, Calif.- The second game of the series between Simpson and TMC was much different than the first, as the visitors would win a close battle by a final score of 7-6. The loss evens the Mustangs record at 1-1 (0-0) and lifts Simpson to 2-3 (0-0).
The visiting Redhawks would strike the first blow in the top of the first inning. Each of the first two hitters notched singles to put runners on first and second. Then a sacrifice bunt followed by a sacrifice fly would give Simpson a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, TMC would knot the score at 1-1. Stephen Karkenny walked and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. After that, Karkenny was attempting to steal third when Bryan Lucas hit an infield single. Karkenny never stopped running as he rounded third and would beat the throw to the plate to even the score.
The Mustangs would go ahead in the bottom of the second inning. Chris Talley ripped a single and would be pushed to third when Bryan Mitchell hit a single of his own to right field. Jon Popadics was up next and would hit a ground ball to first base which scored Talley. The next Mustang hitter was Tanner Leighton, and he would knock a single through the left side to bring Mitchell home for a 3-1 lead.
Simpson would fight back and scored two runs over the next three innings to tie the game at 3-3. In the third and fifth innings respectively, the visitors would score one run on two hits to tie the game. The fifth inning would prove to be the last for Mustang starting pitcher James Scott.
TMC would take the lead back at 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh. Leighton led off with a walk and would come all the way around to score from first on an errant throw from the pitcher on a pick-off attempt.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY BERRU
The very next inning, Simpson would come alive with two outs to score three runs on three hits and one error. After the bases were loaded on two singles and a Mustang error, Tommy Kister would walk the next batter and then throw a wild pitch to give up the first two runs of the inning. The next batter would rip a single to center field to drive in the final run of the inning which gave Simpson a 6-4 lead.
Simpson would add another run in the ninth with another two out rally. Angel Marti walked and then stole second. Garrett Barnett then drove Marti in with a single to put Simpson up 7-4.
The Mustangs would not give up and battled hard in the bottom half of the ninth. With runners on first and second with one out, Talley would hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Spencer Downs who doubled earlier in the inning. Spencer Toth was called on to pinch-hit, and he delivered with a single to right-center field to pull TMC within one run at 7-6. That would prove to be the final margin, though, as Master’s could not produce another run.
Tanner Leighton and Bryan Lucas paced the Mustangs with two hits each.