Santa Clarita, Calif. — On a day when The Master’s College rapped out a season-low three hits, the club used other means at the plate and a strong pitching-by-committee outing to beat the University of Antelope Valley 5-2.
The non-conference victory (the Mustangs are 7-3 in non-GSAC games) lifted the Mustangs’ overall record to 10-6.
The initial hit of the game by UAV’s Neal White in the top of the first inning led directly to the game’s first run as he advanced to second base on a walk, stole third, and scored on a groundout.
In contrast to the Pioneers’ small-ball approach, the Mustangs used the long ball in their first at-bat to even things up as Collin Nyenhuis slugged his club-leading fifth home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field fence. It was the senior first baseman’s first homer since February 9.
After surrendering that first-inning run, the Mustang pitching staff developed a stingy streak, allowing no runs over the next six innings and just one more the rest of the way. Freshman Grant Collins (Southlake, TX) got the starting nod and worked two frames before handing the ball over to junior John Brazil (Potter Valley, CA), who tossed three innings of shutout ball and eventually picked up his first collegiate win.
Sophomore Scott Savage (Torrance, CA) followed Brazil to the mound and threw two more scoreless frames, and Nick Brooks (Castaic, CA) allowed the Pioneers’ final run in the eighth before freshman Robert Winslow (Saugus, CA) earned his first save with a scoreless ninth.
Using a similar committee approach on the hill, the Pioneer staff wasn’t so fortunate. They scattered just three hits, however, they combined to walk 11 Mustangs and that cost them.
Ignited by a free pass to Michael Sexton (Puyallup, WA) to lead off the fourth, the Mustangs scored two runs in the frame on sacrifice flies by Nick Covello (Skillman, NJ) and Tyler Krahn (Abbotsford, BC, Canada).
An inning later, the Mustangs went up 4-1 when walks to Aaron Shackelford (Murrieta, CA), Max Maitland (Murrieta, CA), and Nyenhuis loaded the bases, and preceded a David Sheaffer (Mt. Airy, NC) fielder’s choice groundout that plated Shackelford for a three-run advantage.
In the eighth inning, the Mustangs turned another leadoff walk into their final run. Krahn drew the free pass, stole second base, moved to third on a Thomas Olson (Redding, CA) single, and scored on Nyenhuis’ fielder’s choice groundout.
After posting their fifth (5-3) home win of the season, the Mustangs hit the road this weekend when they resume GSAC play with a three-game series at William Jessup in Rocklin. They open with an afternoon game against the Warriors on Friday followed by a doubleheader on Saturday.