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College baseball: TMC turns it up

Mustangs’ strong effort at plate paces GSAC wins

Posted: February 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.

San Diego Christian’s Sean Sweeney, left, puts his head down after being tagged out by TMC first baseman Jared Otto on Thursday at Reese Field.

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Coming into the season, The Master's College baseball expected to be a team that relied on timely hitting and contact hitting.

On Thursday, the long ball was its saving grace.

Despite cold, windy conditions not ideal for batters, TMC completed the doubleheader sweep of San Diego Christian in both teams' Golden State Athletic Conference openers.

The Mustangs hit two home runs in a 4-2 victory in the second game after winning 7-4 in the early game.

"We haven't been swinging the bat real well lately," said TMC head coach Monte Brooks, "so it was nice to see our hitting come alive."

Designated hitter J.T. Adams got the Mustangs on the board in the second inning of game 2 when he cracked a solo shot to right field. Tanner Leighton added a two-run homer in the third.

The quick 3-0 lead proved to be enough of a boost for starting pitcher Charlie Gillies to hold down his third win of the season.

Gillies went six innings, striking out six and allowing one unearned run.

"We worked really hard in the offseason to focus in when it gets tough," said Gillies, who carries a 1.77 ERA this season. "That's when it's hardest to throw a good pitch - when you're in trouble. You've just got to do it."

In game 1, it was Tyler Bersano who also won his third game of the season, pitching a complete game after allowing four earned runs.

The Mustangs (11-4, 2-0) entered the bottom of the eighth inning down 4-3, but used a four-run rally to bust it open and save the bullpen for game 2.

The rally was made possible by a string of five base hits, including RBI singles by Jared Otto and Adams. Joe Riddle and Ben Ives added sacrifice flies to cap off the scoring in the inning, securing the victory.

Adams went a combined 3-for-6 with two RBIs in the two games.

"It's huge," Gillies said of the hitting. "It gives you a lot of momentum when you get a couple runs like that."

Leighton also hit 3-for-6 in the games along with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored.

Before the eighth inning of game 1, it was a back-and forth contest.

TMC struck first when Parker Price reached on an error that scored Ives.

The Hawks then scored two unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-1 lead before the Mustangs came back with another two-spot in the bottom of the fourth.

Adams led off the inning with a walk and Riddle got on board with a single. Two batters later, catcher Bryan Lucas knocked in both runners with an RBI triple, giving TMC a 3-2 lead at the time.

Outside of the two home runs in game 2, San Diego Christian (2-5, 0-2) maintained control of TMC's lineup via starting pitcher and Santa Clarita Christian product Brock Heerdt.

Heerdt pitched the entire game for the Hawks, allowing the four runs while striking out eight and not walking a single batter.

"He left a couple balls up and they hit them well," said San Diego head coach Chris Bando. "They capitalized on mistakes and we didn't."

Leading 3-1, the Mustangs added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly hit by Riddle.

Pitcher James Scott pitched three innings of relief in game 2, allowing one run and one hit while earning the save.

"They've dominated thus far," Brooks said of the pitching.




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