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Work guides TMC baseball in game 1 win

Posted: May 9, 2013 10:34 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2013 10:34 p.m.
The Master’s College starting pitcher A.J. Work delivers against Tabor on Thursday at Reese Field. The Master’s College starting pitcher A.J. Work delivers against Tabor on Thursday at Reese Field.
The Master’s College starting pitcher A.J. Work delivers against Tabor on Thursday at Reese Field.

Along with having great ability, many ace starting pitchers possess the confidence to match their talents.

The best pitcher on The Master’s College baseball pitching staff and the Golden State Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year is no exception.
A.J. Work pitched a complete-game shutout and picked up the win as the No.1 seed Mustangs edged the No. 4 seed Tabor College Blue Jays of Kansas 1-0 in their first game of the 2013 NAIA Baseball Championship regional on Thursday at Pete Reese Field.

“I was battling some shoulder issues, but I had the confidence that we’d take care of business,” Work said. “I knew it was my game, and that we were going to win once we got that run.”
TMC (41-15, 1-0) scored the lone and winning run on a two-out RBI single by Cody Harris, but it was Work that stole the show.

The senior southpaw scattered seven hits, two for extra bases, while striking out six.
He threw 128 pitches and induced Tabor College (39-15, 1-1) into 10 groundball outs.

Tabor advanced to the contest with TMC by defeating Concordia of Ore. earlier in the day in the double-elimination tournament.

As the No. 1 seed, the Mustangs received a first round bye.

“Pretty much everything was working for me,” Work said. “I had good command of my fastball, which set up my off-speed. I also had great defense behind me today.”

The Blue Jays hung in the game as starting pitcher Josh Stone was also in a groove.
Stone pitched a complete-game as he allowed one earned run over eight innings.

He recorded four strikeouts, while issuing only one walk.

“I thought he pitched outstanding,” said Tabor College head coach Mark Standiford. “He had only thrown 65 pitches through seven innings. We can’t ask for anything more from our starting pitcher.”

In the bottom of the eighth, TMC’s Caleb Halverson set up the scoring opportunity with a leadoff single to right field.

He moved into scoring position by stealing second, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Popadics.

Following a foul-out by Steven Karkenny, Harris stepped up to the plate and delivered by knocking in Halverson for the game-winning RBI.

“(Stone) started me with all sliders earlier in the game,” Harris said regarding his approach in the clutch. “I think the first pitch was a ball, so I was sitting on slider. I put a good swing on it and moved it through the five hole.”
With the win, TMC moves into the winner’s side of the bracket.

The Mustangs will be in action again today at Noon against fellow GSAC member San Diego Christian College.
The Mustangs defeated the Hawks 8-3 in the GSAC Tournament Championship on Saturday.

“With any win in tournament play, it’s nice to advance,” said TMC head coach Monte Brooks. “We’re now one step closer to a potential (NAIA) World Series.”


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