After a season-opening series last weekend against Simpson in which they scored 43 runs the Mustang bats went silent Saturday in a GSAC twinbill against Biola University.
Fortunately for The Master’s, A.J. Work (Boise, ID) and Daniel Sheaffer (Mount Airy, NC) picked up their teammates in game one, combining for a six-hit shutout. The Mustangs pushed across two runs, one in the third on a Spencer Downs’ (Kelso, WA) ground-rule double that plated Sam Robison (San Juan Capistrano, CA) and the second coming in the fifth when Jon Popadics (Boise, ID) drove in Robison with a single.
Work did an excellent job working both sides of the plate with his fastball, something he knew he needed to do coming into the game. Commenting on his performance, the senior lefty said, “Biola is always a hard team to throw against, they’re a powerhouse in the GSAC, I knew that coming in…knew I had to locate, working in and out (with the fastball), mix(ing) in off-speed pitches to keep them guessing.”
With six spotless innings Work ran his scoreless streak to 11 innings to start the season. Sheaffer took over in the seventh, closing things out for an old-school, three- inning save, preserving the 2-0 win.
In game two the Mustangs sent Tyler Elrod (Modesto, CA) to the mound, seeing his first regular- season action since Tommy John surgery. After a shaky first inning in which he walked a batter and made a two-base throwing error which ultimately gave Biola their first run, Elrod settled in and threw five solid innings, allowing only three hits and one unearned run.
The Mustangs threatened to tie the game in the fourth when Robison singled with runners on first and second, however, pinch-runner Anthony Leal (San Juan Capistrano, CA) was gunned down at the plate by Eagle rightfielder Paul Slater. Slater also provided the Eagles with an insurance run in the seventh on an rbi single.
Caleb Halverson (Temple City, CA) walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh but didn’t advance as the next three Mustangs went down in order to end the game, cementing a 2-0 Biola victory.
With the split the Mustangs move to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in GSAC play. The Mustangs will travel to La Mirada Monday to make up Friday’s rainout and will be home to host San Diego Christian in a three-game series next weekend with a 2:00 PM start on Friday and a doubleheader starting at 11:00 AM on Saturday.