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TMC baseball: Mustangs cap off perfect week

TMC sweeps Vanguard for sixth straight victory

Posted: April 6, 2013 10:59 p.m.
Updated: April 6, 2013 10:59 p.m.

After Saturday’s doubleheader, The Master’s College baseball head coach Monte Brooks asked a question.

“Do you know how challenging it is to win six games against the same team,” Brooks said. “That’s really difficult to do.”

Difficult, yes. Impossible, obviously not.

TMC swept a doubleheader from Vanguard University on Saturday, 9-4 and 5-2. In effect, the Mustangs swept the season series with Vanguard six games to none.

“Our pitching dominated,” Brooks said of the season series. “We were able to attack their hitters the way we want to attack.”

Dominated might be an understatement. In six games between the two teams this season, Mustang pitchers allowed eight earned runs in 50 innings.

For TMC (32-11 overall, 22-8 Golden State Athletic Conference) Andrew Klausmeier and Tyler Elrod picked up Saturday where Friday’s starting pitcher A.J. Work left off.

Klausmeier threw three perfect innings in relief of game one, which saw pitcher James Scott pick up the win. And Elrod threw a complete-game five hitter in game two, allowing two runs and striking out five.

Elrod beat Vanguard (16-24, 9-18 GSAC) for the second time this season, the first coming on Feb. 16. And he did it with his family in attendance, wearing t-shirts bearing a caricature of his face that accentuated his moustache.

“Everything was working today,” said Elrod. “I kept the ball down for the most part and the defense again showed up behind me. ... I had no idea my family was going to wear those shirts. I thought about shaving my mustache before the game but figured why not just leave it.”

All five of the Mustangs’ RBIs in game one came from their on through four hitters. TMC also scored on a throwing error forced when Jon Popadics stole third base in the first.

The Mustangs went ahead 9-3 in the eighth, scoring four runs on five hits, sparked by a Cody Harris ground-rule double.

Game two was tied at one before Joe Riddle led off the fifth inning with a home run, his fifth. Riddle came up clutch again in the sixth; his RBI double put the Mustangs up 5-2.

TMC’s Caleb Halverson, Ryan Shackelford and Steven Karkenny each had an RBI in game two.

With the wins, the Mustangs remain 3 1/2 games ahead of second place Concordia.

“We’re excited about the victories,” Brooks said. “We’ve continued to play good defense and pitch well. Now you’re starting to see us get some clutch hits and that’s what we have to do.”


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