Steve Karkenny backed Andrew Klausmeier’s first-game gem with four rbi and courtesy runner Bryce Clancy scored the go-ahead run on an error in the top of the ninth inning of the nightcap as The Master’s College swept away San Diego Christian 10-0 and 5-1 Saturday afternoon.
The Mustangs’ fourth doubleheader sweep of the season, completing a weekend broom job on the Hawks, upped the clubs’ GSAC-leading (18-6) margin over Concordia to 3 1/2 games and improved their overall record to a sparkling 26-9.
In the opener, the Mustangs wasted little time in taking control, scoring once in the top of the first and four more times an inning later. Joe Riddle’s (Bakersfield, CA) groundout scored Jon Popadics(Boise, ID) with the game’s first run after the club’s leadoff hitter had singled and advanced to third base on a Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) base hit.
An inning later, the Popadics-Karkenny duo was at it again with the former plating the frame’s first run with a sacrifice fly that scored Caleb Halverson (Temple City, CA) before Karkenny slugged a three-run homer to left field, his team-leading eighth of the season, to give his team a 5-0 cushion.
Although the Mustangs would eventually double that advantage, it was more than enough support for Klausmeier (Chatsworth, CA), who was making his third-start of the year. The junior righthander (2-1) was superb over his seven innings of shutout ball, retiring the Hawks in order twice, giving up six hits, and striking out three. Dalton Thompson (Riverside, CA) followed Klausmeier to the mound and preserved the staff’s sixth shutout of the season with two innings of scoreless work.
Continuing to pour it on, the Mustangs tallied four more runs in the fourth inning, upping the lead to 9-0. Spencer Downs’ (Kelso, WA) infield single scored Sam Robison (San Juan Capistrano, CA) with the frame’s first run, Riddle added two more rbi with a double down the right field line that plated Robison and Popadics, and Spencer Toth’s (Asheville, NC) two-out, two-bagger down the left field line brought home Riddle, capping off the four-run outburst.
The Mustangs tacked on the final run of the game in the top of the seventh when Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a groundout, and raced home on Karkenny’s two-out single to right-center field.
Karkenny’s three hits paced the club’s 13-hit attack in the opener while Popadics, Riddle, and Robison had two apiece.
The nightcap, featuring superb pitching, was a completely different story with runs coming at a premium. Mustang starter Tyler Elrod (Modesto, CA) and his Hawk counterpart Tyler Sanborn) threw zeroes at each other over the first four frames, combining for a quartet of one-two-three frames.
However, the first dent in the dominant pitching came in the fifth inning, courtesy of wildness. In the top of the frame, Shackelford raced home on a two-out wild pitch while the Hawks duplicated that in the bottom of the inning after Elrod uncorked a wild one, also with two outs, to knot the game at one.
It stayed tied at 1-1 through the regulation seventh inning and through the eighth, but in the ninth the game turned decisively to the Mustangs. Shackelford reached on a one-out fielder’s choice, advanced to second on a groundout, and was then replaced by courtesy runner Clancy (Phoenix, AZ). Moments later, he scored the tie-breaking run when Popadics’ grounder to shortstop was misplayed, putting the Mustangs ahead 2-1.
Not content with a one-run advantage, the Mustangs padded their margin with three more tallies. Downs drove in Popadics with a single to right field and Riddle finished off the scoring with a two-run single to left field.
Not to be overlooked in the extra-inning heroics was junior reliever Tommy Kister (Saugus, CA). The righthander tossed two innings of shutout ball, nailing down his third win (3-0) of the season with a one-two-three ninth, highlighted by a game-ending strikeout.
The Mustangs managed eight hits in the nightcap with Downs and Chris Talley (Simi Valley, CA) rapping out two apiece. Elrod, who wasn’t around for the decision went seven innings, allowing just one earned run on seven hits.
The Mustangs, who have played nine of their last 10 games away from Reese Field, stay on the road this week when they travel to Irvine for a crucial three-game series with second-place Concordia. The two squads meet in a single game on Wednesday and then tangle in a doubleheader on Thursday.