By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
It had already been a wild 24 hours by the time Scott Savage stepped to the plate in Saturday’s fifth inning.
Friday, the senior navigated a volatile ninth inning to earn his first save in more than a year.
Saturday, he chucked fastballs in four innings of one-run relief.
He helped his cause when he laced a two-run single through the left side in the decisive fifth inning of a 7-2 win over Vanguard University at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
The win, coupled with Arizona Christian’s loss at William Jessup earlier in the day, secured a berth in the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament for the Mustangs.
Master’s (24-19, 16-16 in GSAC) can finish no lower than fifth place after it scored five runs on three hits and an error in the fifth.
Savage’s hit and Ryan Bricker‘s RBI single highlighted an inning where Vanguard pitching walked three batters in a row at one point — twice forcing in a run.
Savage — a position player early in his career but a “pitcher only” of late — came on in relief of Preston White, who held the Lions to one run over four innings.
White started aggressively. He retired the side in order in the first inning, using a 92 mph fastball to strike out Vanguard’s No. 3 hitter.
He allowed three singles and a run in the second but responded by retiring seven in a row to close his second start of the season after primarily serving as the team’s closer.
In all, he struck out three, walked none and secured TMU’s fifth GSAC series win of the season.
More importantly, Master’s knows its season will continue into late April when Vanguard (25-21-1, 20-12) hosts the conference tournament.
Savage provided insurance in the seventh when he skied a fly ball to deep right center. An outfielder got a glove on it but couldn’t hang on, allowing two runs to score and Savage to sprint around to third.
He was likely worn out.
In Friday’s gripping 6-4 win, Savage entered with two on and two outs. He walked the first two batters he faced, forcing in a run, and fell behind the next hitter 2-0.
Savage rebounded to record a strikeout and end the game. His work for the weekend was far from over.