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College baseball: Mustangs falter for fourth time

TMC swept by tough Fresno Pacific

Posted: March 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The Master’s College second baseman Ben Ives, right, runs down Fresno Pacific’s Tyler Pryor (7) at TMC on Saturday.

 

In non-conference play, The Master's College baseball team looked promising despite its youth.

A few weeks into Golden State Athletic Conference competition, the team is getting a harsh reality kick against more difficult opponents.

On Saturday, the culprit was preseason National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics No. 11-ranked Fresno Pacific University, which swept a doubleheader to beat TMC four straight times this week.

The Mustangs fell 8-2 in the game 1 and 5-1 in game 2 on Saturday at Reese Field, which came after an 8-1 loss to Fresno on Wednesday and another 5-1 score on Thursday.

That makes a total of five runs score in the last four games by TMC (13-10, 4-6).

"As for our bats, we didn't exercise self-control," said TMC freshman Joe Riddle. "We were impatient at the plate. We need to start hitting our pitches and not the pitcher's."

The problem wasn't necessarily a lack of hitting, as the Mustangs combined for 16 total on the day. The issue was hitting with runners on, which they did very little of in the two games, stranding a total of 19 baserunners.

"That's it right there," said TMC head coach Monte Brooks. "We left 19 runners on. We just didn't clutch up. (Fresno) is great though. I know their record doesn't show it, but they've got great pitching. They're always a good program."

The Sunbirds (14-8, 8-4) chipped away at Mustangs pitchers throughout the day, scoring no more than two runs in a single inning, but scoring with aggressive hitting early in counts.

In game 1, TMC starter J.T. Adams did his best to hold off the Fresno lineup, limiting them to one run in the first four innings, but eventually gave up a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth before his day was up.

At that point, the Mustangs trailed 4-0.

TMC did get a run on the board with Cody Harris' RBI single in the sixth to make the score 4-1.

Adams also knocked in a run in the ninth.

The second game was more of the same for TMC, which often got the first batter or two on base but squandered opportunities with misplayed bunts or crippling strikeouts.

"We played really well this week," said Fresno head coach Oscar Hirschkorn of the pitching. "(TMC) is a really good team, good hitting, good pitching staff, but for whatever reason, we just played well all around.

Hitting-wise, the Sunbirds did what the Mustangs couldn't in game 2, which was hitting with runners in scoring position.

TMC starter A.J. Work gave up all five runs in his five-inning outing, and Riddle's home run in the second inning represented TMC's only run.

The Mustangs have now lost six of their last seven after opening the season 12-4, but there is plenty of time to recover from a slump.

"It's still very early in GSAC play, and I think we have what it takes," Riddle said.

 

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