April 22, 2016
Santa Clarita, Calif. -- It wasn't the start of a game or of a three-game series that The Master's College was hoping for Friday afternoon as the Mustangs dropped a 6-1 decision to No. 9 Vanguard at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
Losing to the conference's second-place club dropped the Mustangs to 14-11 in the GSAC (tied with Biola for third place) and 29-15 overall.
The contest, which the Mustangs were hoping to use as a catapult to close the five-game gap between the two clubs, couldn't have started in a worse way when Vanguard's Brandon Sandoval clubbed a lead-off home run off Mustang starter Jason Karkenny.
An inning later, the Lions did it again as Brock Eissman led off the second frame with a solo homer, a shot over the right field fence that gave the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The Lions didn't hit one over the fence in the third inning, however, they used a double, triple, and single to double their advantage.
With the GSAC's winningest pitcher, Sean Isaac (12-1), posting goose eggs against the Mustangs, that 4-0 lead looked even more imposing as the senior righthander shut out TMC on three hits through the first seven innings.
Isaac retired the Mustangs in order three times in that stretch and only one player (Brandon Van Horn) reached second base, where he was stranded in the sixth inning.
In the top of that inning, the Lions used the long ball one more time to take a 6-0 lead when Eissman slugged his second homer of the game, a two-run blast over the fence in right field again
Although Karkenny finished out the frame, he was done after giving up all six runs on seven hits. He struck out five and fell to 9-5.
The Mustangs finally got to Isaac in the eighth, loading the bases on singles by Pearson Good and Aaron Shackelford, and a walk to Max Maitland, before a Van Horn groundout made it a 6-1 game. They could have had more but an inning-ending double play prevented that.
The club loaded the bases again in the ninth; however, it came up empty in its attempt to create a dramatic rally when two strikeouts ended the game.
Outhit 9-7, the Mustangs were led by the hot-hitting Good, who had three hits. The redshirt freshman is hitting .538 (14-26) over his past nine games.
The Mustangs, who must now battle for the third seed in the upcoming GSAC Tournament (May 9-12), get another shot at the Lions on Saturday when the clubs play a doubleheader that starts at 11:00 am.