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Small ball leads to Mustang win

Tyler Bersano goes a strong seven, TMC manufactures runs on basepaths

Posted: March 6, 2009 1:17 a.m.
Updated: March 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College's Joseph Zeller, left, tries to tag Westmont's Colten Christianson Thursday.

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Pitching has been the backbone of The Master’s College’s baseball season, and the Mustangs turned in another solid performance on the hill Thursday to pick up a win against Westmont, 4-2 at home.

Tyler Bersano threw seven innings, allowing two runs before he turned the ball over to David Goodenough, who got out of a jam in the eighth and nailed down the victory in the ninth.

“Our pitching was outstanding again,” said The Master’s head coach Monte Brooks. “Tyler was very effective. He made one mistake early, but he’s a smart pitcher and he didn’t let a mistake like that happen again.”

Bersano’s early mistake came when Warriors (3-17, 2-10) two-hole hitter Mike Zetti drove an 0-2 pitch over the left-center field wall to give the Westmont an early 1-0 lead.

Westmont starter Timothy Crabbe protected the one-run spread through the first three innings, no hitting the Mustangs (18-4, 8-2), while fanning seven of the first 10 batters he faced.

However, The Master’s first baseman Michael Bando knotted the game in the fourth with a one out, solo home run off of Crabbe.

“It’s unfortunate for us because we’ve been on the wrong end of a lot of close games this year,” said Westmont head coach Scott Deck. “They did the little things that we need to do to win games today so my hat is off to them.”

A prime example of the Mustangs’ execution came in the sixth inning when Pete Goeman coaxed a lead-off walk and stole second and third to set up a Caleb Mintz sacrifice fly that broke the tie.

“It was a tough game for us because we didn’t get a whole lot of chances to score,” Goeman said. “We hung in there though, even though we didn’t have a whole lot to work with.”

The Mustangs held a one-run lead into the eighth, but Taylor Grace drew a lead-off walk and stole second for the Warriors.

Westmont’s Taylor Maddox, a Hart graduate, laid down a bunt to attempt to move the runner over, but Bersano’s throw was errant and skipped past Bando at first, allowing Grace to score and Maddox to make it to second base.

Brooks made the call to bring in Goodenough to relieve Bersano with no one out and a runner in scoring position and the Mustang righty retired the next three batters to keep the game tied heading into the bottom of the eighth.

“Goodenough was fantastic,” Brooks said. “It was a tough spot he came into, and he shut them down.”

The Mustang half of the eighth started the same way the sixth did. Goeman coaxed a walk then Joseph Zeller followed with single off reliever Dan Price.

The runners advanced on an errant pick-off attempt when Price threw the ball into center field while trying to cut down Goeman.

Price struck out Bando for the first out of the inning, but Mintz lofted a high fly ball to deep right field for a sacrifice fly that plated Goeman.

After a walk to Tyler Diamond, Eric Blackwell delivered an RBI single to give the Mustangs a two-run lead.

“The pick-off play that let their guys move up a base was big because it took the double play out of order,” Deck said. “Those things happen in baseball, but it made it tougher for us to get out of the eighth.”

Goodenough struck out the first two batters in the ninth inning, and he got Mark Magdaleno to pop out to third to shut the door on the Warriors and earn his second win of the season.

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