John Brazil went 4-4 and Nick Covello drove in two runs as The Master’s College remained unbeaten in non-conference play with an 8-4 victory over Simpson on a windy day in Placerita Canyon.
The 20th-ranked Mustangs’ win was their ninth in a row as they improved to 10-2 overall and 3-0 against non-GSAC competition.
As they have done so often in the first few weeks of the 2015 campaign, the Mustangs started fast, scoring twice in the first to go ahead for good. Tyler Krahn (Abbotsford, BC, Canada) led off with a single through the right side and then raced around the bases to score on a Steve Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) double to the gap in left-center field. Following a wild pitch that moved Karkenny up 90 feet, Collin Nyenhuis (Vista, CA) brought home the All-American with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Two innings later, the Mustangs made it a 3-0 game when Karkenny drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and kept on going to third on a throwing error, and scored on a balk.
The Mustangs failed to score in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, but it didn’t cause any great concern because a cadre of TMC hurlers was stifling the Red Hawk bats, shutting out Simpson through the first seven frames on just three hits.
Starter Ty Galloway (Modesto, CA) threw one inning, Hunter Totemeier (Santa Ynez, CA) tossed three more, Conner Menez (Hollister, CA) hurled a scoreless fifth, and Jason Bock (Granada Hills, CA) added two more shutout innings.
Meanwhile, the offense got back on track in the sixth, scoring what turned out to be four very important runs. Sam Robison (San Juan Capistrano, CA) led off the frame by lacing a double to right-center field and scored easily on Brazil’s (Potter Valley, CA) second two-bagger of the game, a rope to right field.
Brazil advanced to third base on Josh Brown’s (Valencia, CA) single and then scored on a Caleb Halverson (Temple City, CA) sacrifice fly to center field. Up 5-0, the Mustangs weren’t done as Krahn walked, advanced to third on a Karkenny single to center field, and then scored on the front end of a double steal. Covello (Skillman, NJ) capped the four-run outburst, driving Karkenny home with a single to right field.
That 7-0 lead gave the Mustangs a lot of cushion and they needed most of it when the Red Hawks, capitalizing on Dewey Dovel’s (Aurora, TX) wildness (five walks), scored four times in the eighth to slice the deficit to three runs.
Brown, who started the game at shortstop, ended it on the mound, rescuing Dovel and the Mustangs by getting an inning-ending double play in the eighth before retiring the Red Hawks in order in the ninth for his first save of the year.
The Mustangs gave Brown one more run to work before going out to pitch the ninth when Covello doubled home Bryce Clancy who had led off the eighth inning with a single.
Brazil’s four hits were a career-high while Karkenny and Covello complemented him with two hits apiece as part of the club’s 13-hit attack.
After another mid-week, non-conference game, the Mustangs return to GSAC action this weekend, traveling to Phoenix to take on Arizona Christian in a three-game series that begins on Friday.