Battered And Handcuffed

February 27, 2015

Santa Clarita, CA -- It was no surprise that The Master's College lost to Westmont Friday afternoon on Reese Field.  The Warriors are a quality club, sitting just outside the NAIA preseason Top 25.

However, the way in which Westmont beat TMC was an eye-opener as they rapped out 15 hits and silenced the Mustang bats in a 7-0 victory.

It was the second time the 20th-ranked Mustangs have been shut out in 2015 as they fell two games  (12-4 GSAC, 17-5 overall) behind first-place Concordia (14-2 GSAC) in conference play while Westmont (10-4) pulled within one game of second-place TMC. 

The biggest surprise of the cold afternoon came quickly as the Warriors got to Mustang starter Jason Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) early and often.  The staff ace, who entered the game with a stingy 1.25 earned-run average, was roughed up by the Warriors in a three-run first inning that featured back-to-back home runs by Blake Matthias (a two-run shot) and Michael Pollex.

Two innings later, the Warriors nicked Karkenny for two more runs on a run-scoring single by Graylin Derke and an rbi double off the bat of Scott Pollex.  That was it for Karkenny who lasted a season-low three innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs were being handcuffed by Westmont starter Russell Harmening.  The 2014 GSAC Pitcher of the Year lived up to his billing, tossing a four-hitter over seven shutout innings while striking out 10 Mustangs.

The Mustangs had their chances to score but couldn't break through against the Warrior righthander, leaving a runner at third base in the second inning and stranding two more in the fourth.  Harmening closed out his spotless stint in the seventh, whiffing the final two Mustangs he faced.

The Warriors capped off the scoring with single runs in the fifth and sixth frames, respectively, and reliever Stephen Larson kept the Mustangs off the board over the final two innings.

The Mustangs had a good opportunity to slice into the deficit in the eighth when Scott Savage (Torrance, CA) drew a lead-off walk and Tyler Krahn (Abbotsford, BC, Canada) followed with a single to right field.  However, Larson recovered and sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a popout to end the threat.

Held to just six hits, the Mustangs were led by Nick Covello (Skillman, NJ) and Sam Robison (San Juan Capistrano, CA) who had two hits apiece.

The Mustangs get a chance to bounce back quickly when they turn around to host the Warriors in a Saturday doubleheader that starts at 11:00am on Reese Field.