Tommy Kister tossed six innings of one-hit, shutout ball and his teammates backed him with 10 hits as The Master’s College cruised by Simpson 9-1 Friday in the season opener for both clubs.
Kister (Saugus, CA), who excelled as the Mustangs’ closer last year with a school-record 10 saves, earned a job in the starting rotation this season and made the move look like a good one from the opening pitch. He struck out the first Red Hawk batter he faced, retired the side in order twice, and didn’t give up a hit until his sixth and final inning of work.
By then, the game was well in hand as Kister’s teammates gave him all the runs he needed and then some in the top of the first. In that frame, Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA) drove in Jon Popadics (Boise, ID) with the game’s first run, newcomer Tyler Krahn (Abbotsford, BC, Canada) plated junior All-American Steve Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA), and a Red Hawk error allowed two more Mustangs to score in a four-run outburst.
An inning later, Karkenny’s single brought home courtesy runner Ethan Stine (Apple Valley, CA) and then scored on Ryan Shackelford’s (Murrieta, CA) two-out single for a 6-0 lead after two innings.
After Red Hawk starter Garrett Greenhaw kept The Master’s off the scoreboard in the third and fourth innings, the Mustangs chased him in the fifth when Krahn singled in Shackelford, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and moved to third base on Riddle’s double to right field, stretching the lead to 7-0.
The Mustangs capped their scoring in the top of the sixth, adding two more runs, both of them gifts from a leaky Red Hawk defense. With one out, Karkenny reached on an error, an out later Riddle walked, and both of them scored when Krahn’s fly ball to left field was misplayed for a two-run error.
After Kister finished up after six innings, freshman Jason Karkenny came on and hurled two innings in his collegiate debut, including an impressive seventh when he whiffed the first two batters he faced before giving up the Red Hawks’ only run in the eighth.
Another freshman hurler, Hunter Totemeier (Santa Ynez, CA), made his debut in the ninth, striking out two batters, including the final one on a called third strike to end the game.
Karkenny, Shackelford, and Riddle rapped out two hits apiece and Krahn drove in two runs in his first game as a Mustang.
The Mustangs wrap up their brief visit to the northern part of the state on Saturday, tangling with the Red Hawks in a doubleheader.