Santa Clarita, Calif. — After leading the baseball team to the GSAC regular-season championship, five players from The Master’s College have been named all-conference. In a vote by conference coaches, Steve Karkenny, Collin Nyenhuis, Nick Covello, Jason Karkenny, and Conner Menez represented the Mustangs on the 20-member squad.
Earning all-conference honors for the third time and becoming the only player in program history to do so, Karkenny had another marvelous campaign that was bordering on record-breaking until an appendectomy sidelined him for seven games. Still, the senior rightfielder led the GSAC in runs scored (55), slugging percentage (.741), on-base percentage (.528), OPS (1.269), and hit-by-pitches (16). His 11 home runs were the second-best mark as were his 29 stolen bases and a like number of walks, and he hit .381, the third-highest average in the GSAC.
Not far behind this kind of production was Nyenhuis, who rebounded from a sub-par sophomore season to post terrific junior numbers. The first baseman, who hit .362 with a 1.032 OPS, came on late to lead the GSAC in rbi (55), doubles (20), and sacrifice flies (7), and was second in total bases (113), and third in hits (67). He sparkled in the field, too, as the conference’s top first baseman, committing just one error in a GSAC-high 510 chances with 475 of those putouts while participating in 35 double plays.
Across the diamond at the hot corner, Covello was a consistent performer all season long, hitting .341 to go along with a 1.026 OPS while tying Karkenny for second in the conference with 29 walks and finishing fourth in rbi (48) and home runs (9).
It’s no surprise that the Mustang pitching staff was the best in the GSAC with Jason Karkenny and Menez hurling one quality outing after another. Karkenny made a smooth transition from the bullpen to starter, tying for the conference lead with 10 wins (10-4). He was second in innings pitched (97.1) and pickoffs (6), and third in earned-run average (2.22) and opponent batting average (.216).
Meanwhile, Menez developed into the conference’s best No. 3 starter, going undefeated (7-0) with a stingy 1.67 ERA, the second-lowest mark in the GSAC. He paced the conference in fewest runs allowed (15), fewest earned runs allowed (12), and fewest walks (12).
This quintet will lead the Mustangs into the GSAC Tournament starting on Thursday when they host Vanguard in a noon start on Reese Field.
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