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TMC Looks to Continue Climb

Posted: February 1, 2008 6:43 a.m.
Updated: April 3, 2008 2:02 a.m.
 
If there's any indicator as to what to expect from The Master's College baseball team, the squad's records from the last three seasons may be a good one.

The Mustangs have shown much progression over the past few years since 2004, the last time they finished above .500 with a 24-22 record.
In 2007, TMC (22-28, 14-22) saw improvement from its 2006 season in which it went 18-32 and 8-24 in conference play.
The Mustangs' 2008 schedule will not be an easy one as they try to take another step in the right direction. They are slated to meet with several NAIA Preseason Top 25 teams. Those meetings include four games each with No. 2 Azusa Pacific, No. 13 California Baptist and No. 25 Biola, each conference rivals.
"We're arguably the toughest league in the country," head coach Monte Brooks said, adding that the league usually has teams in the top 40.
The Mustangs' 2008 season has already begun in an ideal fashion as they are currently 3-0 with wins over Oregon Tech and CSU San Marcos.
The future continues to look bright for the Mustangs, who are coming into the 2008 season with only four seniors but half a roster of experienced players.
Among those players are several of last season's offensive leaders.
Sophomore Caleb Mintz batted .386 and knocked in 45 RBIs, both team high's amongst regular everyday players.
Other returners include sophomore Pete Goeman (.314 average, 52 runs), and seniors A.J. Morris (.304, 32 RBIs) and Steve Shaver (44 runs, 38 RBIs).
"The first four to five in the order have had more experience than the latter part but we should have a solid lineup all the way through," Brooks said.
Brooks is optimistic about the the recruiting classes.
"We're really excited about our recruting class," Brooks said. "I feel like last year and this year's recruiting classes have given us better opportunities to step up."
Among the newcomers are Tyler Diamond from Simi Valley and Joe Zeller from Mission Viejo.
Diamond comes to TMC from Oxnard Community College. Diamond, a junior, hit .326 while driving in 32 runs in his sophomore year with Oxnard.
The pitching staff will also see some changes. Brooks' starting pitching staff will be led by newcomers Zeller and Fito Grijalva, and returner Tim Woodward.
"The starters are very competitive," Brooks said. "I think they are going to give us alot of innings."
Zeller comes from Loyola Marymount University where he made only five appearances on the mound. He made 39 appearances in all for Loyola, mostly as a position player.
The new names for the 2008 season extend into the dugout as the Mustangs have boosted their coaching staff with new additions.
Chris Brando comes to the Mustangs after managing the Aiken Foxhounds in the independent South Coast League. Bando played eight seasons with the Cleveland Indians and won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics in 1989.
Brando will be helping the Mustangs primarily with pitching and catching, but will help out on the offensive side as well.
"We're both like-minded and we're able to cover more ground," Brooks said. "We haven't had that in the last few years."
Zane Jensen, former Oral Roberts and The Master's College player, will also join The Master's College coaching staff. Jensen will be working with the outfield and hitting, while contributing to the baserunning.
"Zane Jensen has been really involved and investing in players," Brooks said. " It just gives us another set of eyes to see things I couldn't see by myself."
The Mustangs will be without new coach Dave Nilsson, who is currently in Australia working with the national team for the 2008 Olympics. Brooks said Nilsson desires to come back this spring to help.
The Mustangs will look to improve to 4-0 when they host Patten today at 2 p.m.


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