Claremont, Calif. — Matt Janes drove in a career-high four runs and two teammates added three rbi apiece as The Master’s College walloped Claremont 19-7 Tuesday afternoon in the San Gabriel Valley.
The one-sided victory that was shortened to eight innings snapped a brief, two-game losing streak and improved the Mustangs to 6-2 in 2016.
Janes’ (Riverside, CA) run production would come later, however, his teammates didn’t waste any time in cranking up the offense, posting four runs in the top of the first inning. Three of those came courtesy of Collin Neynhuis’ (Vista, CA) fourth home run of the season, a shot to left-center field that plated Max Maitland (Murrieta, CA) and Nick Covello (Skillman, NJ) who had both walked in front of him.
Later in the frame, a Jonah Jarrard (Rosemead, CA) sacrifice fly to right field scored Michael Sexton, who had drawn a free pass, to give the Mustangs a 4-0 lead out of the chute.
After starter and winner Jason Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) retired the Stags in order in their first at-bat, the Mustangs tacked on their fifth run in the second when Maitland walked again with one out, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and raced home on Covello’s single to right field.
Karkenny, who improved to 2-0, ended his two-inning stint with another perfect frame and then his teammates went to work again in the third. Aaron Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) and Jarrard were hit by pitches to lead off the frame and both eventually scored on a Stag error. Janes, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored the third and final run of the inning when he was doubled home by Maitland and the Mustangs had a comfortable 8-0 cushion.
Eventually, those eight runs would be all the offense the club needed, but the bats were far from finished. Meanwhile, the pitching wasn’t too bad, either, as freshman Robert Winslow (Saugus, CA) took over for Karkenny in the third and kept the shutout intact by retiring three of the four batters he faced in his collegiate debut.
In the fourth, Janes kept the offense going, rapping a two-out single to right field that scored Shackelford for a 9-0 lead.
After the Stags finally broke through with three runs in the last of the fourth, the Mustangs broke it open in the fifth with five runs, opening up a commanding 14-3 advantage.
Sexton ignited the explosion with a sacrifice fly that plated Maitland, who had singled to lead off the inning. A Shackelford single made it 11-3 and Jarrard doubled in two more before scoring the inning’s final run on a Janes’ base hit to left field.
An inning later, the Mustangs duplicated that run production, using four hits, some Stag wildness (two hit-by-pitches and a wild pitch) on the mound, and an error to add five more runs. It started with Nyenhuis who laced a lead-off single up the middle, moved to third on a Sexton double, and scored on a passed ball. Sexton scored moments later on a wild pitch and Janes doubled in two more runs with a line drive to left field. The junior second baseman scored the Mustangs’ final run on the Stag miscue that capped off six straight run-scoring innings.
The Mustang bullpen was eventually roughed up for seven runs but on an afternoon when the offense produced at will, it made little difference.
Janes’ 3-6, four-rbi performance paced the club’s 16-hit attack. Nyenhuis, who now has a team-high 12 rbi, had two hits as did Maitland, Covello, Scott Savage (Torrance, CA), and Shackelford.
Reflecting on the victory that allowed 23 players from the 30-man roster to see playing time, Mustang coach Monte Brooks said, “It was a joy to see everyone get in the game. We played well in all phases of the game.”
If this was a tune-up for conference play then the victory met its goal for the Mustangs who open GSAC action this Friday when they welcome Hope International to Lou Herwaldt Stadium for a three-game series. Friday’s single game will start at 2:00pm while the first pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader will be thrown at 11:00am.