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College baseball: TMC gives a double dose

Mustangs keep winning games on their long stretch

Posted: April 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The Master’s College’s Joe Riddle belts a home run against La Sierra University at Reese Field on Tuesday.

 

Nearing the end of a nine-game stretch in a span of just eight days, The Master’s College baseball has had to reach down the depth chart.

Evidently, the more the merrier for TMC.

The Mustangs have won six of the first seven games during the busy week, the latest coming in a doubleheader sweep of La Sierra University on Tuesday at Reese Field.

TMC won the two non-conference games by identical scores of 8-1 behind two impressive games by starting pitchers Steve Karkenny and Tom Gilbertson.

“I just like the way the kids have maintained intensity,” said TMC head coach Monte Brooks. “They weren’t giving any excuses.”

In the second game, Gilbertson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up a leadoff single to Michael Rojas.
Rojas scored later in the inning off reliever Cody Harris to put the earned run on Gilbertson, who went six-plus innings and allowed just one hit.

“Both pitchers kept us off balance the entire day,” said La Sierra head coach Gabriel Gamboa. “They got us in pitcher’s counts and went after us.”

Karkenny, a freshman making his first start of the year, earned the win in game one with five innings of one-hit ball that included eight strikeouts.

“We were hoping he could go three and here he goes and throws a one-hitter,” Brooks said.

Though TMC (26-14) led 2-0 by the time Karkenny’s day was finished, a six-run sixth inning blew it wide open against the young Golden Eagles (3-24).

La Sierra helped the Mustangs with two errors in the inning, which included a two-RBI single from Chris Talley and RBIs from Ryan Shackelford and Bryan Mitchell.

In the late game, most of the run support came from the long ball.

Tanner Leighton, Joe Riddle and Spencer Toth all hit two-run home runs for TMC in the game.

Toth hit his well over the left-field fence in the fifth inning for his first career homer in college.

“Usually I pinch hit, so whenever I get at-bats, I look first pitch,” Toth said. “And he gave me a fastball.”

The nine-game stretch wraps up with a doubleheader Thursday against Cal State San Marcos, where the Mustangs will try to extend a five-game winning streak.

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