Right about now, Menlo might be rethinking its decision to travel down to Santa Clarita for a quick, three-game series threatened by inclement weather.
After Collin Nyenhuis (Vista, CA) drove in two runs and Andrew Klausmeier (Northridge, CA) hurled six sparkling innings of one-run, three-hit ball in a 7-1 victory, the Oaks returned to Northern California winless while the 12th-ranked Mustangs improved to 22-3 on the heels of their eighth series win of the 2014 season. The Mustangs are now 10-0 in non-conference play.
It didn’t take long for the Mustangs to dent the scoreboard as they loaded the bases with no outs before a passed ball plated Steve Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) with the game’s first run. Then, Nyenhuis stepped to the plate and lined a single up the middle, scoring Jon Popadics (Boise, ID) and Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) for a 3-0 lead.
That’s all Klausmeier (2-1) needed, although his teammates produced more offense later in the game. He breezed through the first two frames, retiring all six batters he faced before he ran into some trouble in the third inning, giving up his only run on a walk and two singles as the Oaks sliced the deficit to two runs.
That was the last run scored by the Oaks and the Mustangs didn’t score again until the eighth. In between, Klausmeier, after allowing a lead-off double in the fourth, retired the final nine batters he faced, finishing with four strikeouts in his longest outing of 2014.
After six straight scoreless innings, one of their longest streaks of the season, the Mustangs finally broke through in the eighth. Rapping out three hits and capitalizing on a pair of Menlo miscues, the Mustangs closed out the win with four runs. Anthony Leal’s (San Juan Capistrano, CA) single drove in Josh Brown (Valencia, CA), who had reached on an error, with the first run, Spencer Toth (Asheville, NC) followed with a run-scoring single that plated Leal, and later in the inning, courtesy runner Bryce Clancy (Phoenix, AZ) raced home on a passed ball, and Steve Karkenny capped off the afternoon’s scoring with a single that scored courtesy runner Ethan Stine (Apple Valley, CA) for a 7-1 lead.
After Klausmeier finished his six-inning stint, he was followed to the mound by Jason Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA), who tossed two scoreless innings, and Hunter Totemeier (Santa Ynez, CA), who duplicated that in the ninth.
Nyenhuis, Leal, and Toth had two hits apiece as the Mustangs doubled up the Oaks in that category, 8-4.
The Mustangs return to GSAC play this coming Friday when they welcome Westmont to Reese Field for the first of a three-game series.