By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
Kameron Quitno looked around and diagnosed the situation.
With runners at second and third, he figured a fly ball of middling depth, a ground ball to the right side even, would get the job done.
He did not envision himself hurtling around the bases, chasing home both runners and safely sliding across the plate for the first home run of his collegiate career, sparking the Mustangs to a 13-4 win over visiting Bethesda University on Tuesday at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” Quitno, a freshman, said of his second-inning inside-the-park home run. “Once you get to home plate, you have to take a breather.”
Maybe a better sign that TMU’s offense was moving in the right direction Tuesday came when Bethesda’s outfielders didn’t move at all.
The Flames center and right fielders simply turned to watch Aaron Shackelford‘s three-run shot bounce on the other side of the street abutting right field.
The seventh-inning homer, which came shortly after a Shackelford fly out was negated by a balk call, was Shackelford’s fourth home run this month. He’s hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
Did he know this one was gone?
“It felt really good,” said Shackelford, who finished 3-for-4.
Jaiden France followed Shackelford’s dinger with a no-doubter to left field. It was the second homer in as many games for France, who started Tuesday on the mound and provided five solid innings for his first win as a Mustang.
The Flames (8-20-1) got to France for a run in the third and another in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-2. But Master’s (18-13) exploded for seven runs in the seventh to pull away and snap a three-game skid.
The Mustangs dropped a trio of games at William Jessup, an NAIA top-10 team, over the weekend, struggling to bring baserunners in. Tuesday provided a bit of a good mojo before a three-game GSAC set at Menlo College in Atherton on Friday.
“It’s kind of like a confidence boost going into this weekend,” Shackelford said.
Not wanting to be left out, freshman Felix King joined the power party in the eighth, depositing a baseball on top of TMU’s clubhouse outside left field.
“He’s so strong,” said Brooks, who was pleased to empty his bench and get some youngsters some much needed, and deserved, reps.
“They work so hard,” the coach said.
Mustang Nick Tuttle went 4-for-4 and scored two runs. Max Maitland was 3-for-5.
Here’s the box score.