View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Mason Nesbitt: Coming through when it matters most for TMC baseball

Posted: May 25, 2013 7:31 p.m.
Updated: May 25, 2013 7:31 p.m.

 

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of columns by The Master’s College baseball player Mason Nesbitt, who will be filing stories from Lewiston, Idaho — the site of the NAIA World Series. Nesbitt, who played baseball until his sophomore year for TMC, was asked to return to the Mustangs out of need. At the time, he was a contributing baseball writer with The Signal.

 

LEWISTON, Idaho — Friday’s win means two days off.

We have our pitching and defense largely to thank for two days likely filled with practice, pool-lounging, church and all around easygoing.

While it was no surprise that our pitching and defense delivered, our offense, on the other hand, came from two talented but unexpected sources.

For different reasons, Chris Talley and James Scott haven’t exactly been offensive juggernauts this season. Talley hasn’t played up to his ability (he’s one of the most talented hitters I’ve played with at TMC) and Scott has simply lacked opportunity.

But the funny thing about the playoffs and the NAIA World Series is that you get a clean slate — except for guys like me who committed such pitching atrocities that we can never be forgiven.

But in most cases, nobody cares what you did last week or last month. All that matters is helping your team win now.

Both Talley and Scott are producing now.

Talley, TMC’s starting catcher, hit .402 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in only 32 games as a freshman. During that season, I heard a minor league manager — who had played in the big leagues — tell someone he’d be surprised if Talley wasn’t drafted after his junior year; he was that good.

He dropped off slightly his sophomore year before bouncing back with a very strong junior season, hitting .325 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs.

This year however, Talley’s hitting only .237 with three home runs and 34 RBI’s. A guy that in the past has hit in the three or four spot in the lineup, hit in the bottom half of the order for most of 2013.

But none of that matters.

Talley hit two doubles and had an RBI in TMC’s World Series-berth-clinching victory over San Diego Christian two weeks ago. And I’m not talking about fluke doubles that were well placed. I’m talking about smoked-in-the-gap doubles to deep right center.

Friday, on the biggest stage, he homered, singled and looked like the Talley of old. And if he keeps it up, that’ll be the only Talley anyone remembers.

Scott on the other hand, wasn’t struggling at the plate. He was just too busy pitching.

The junior right-hander, who had only nine at-bats entering the World Series, spent most of this season on the mound where he started 12 games, going 7-4 with a 3.19 ERA. His success — thanks in large part to his high 80s, low 90s fastball which he spots so well — was reason enough for head coach Monte Brooks to keep him out of the batter’s box.

But with injuries to regular first baseman Spencer Downs and others, Brooks put Scott at first with a trip to the World Series on the line.

Scott delivered in a big way, hitting a three-run home run that tied the score at 4-4 and swung all the momentum TMC’s way, en route to an 11-7 win.

Friday, it was a double instead of a home run, but Scott tied the score 1-1 nonetheless. And his hitting, coupled with a great pick at first base, should give Brooks confidence that even with Downs out, first base is covered.

And I’ll have the rest of the World Series covered, one day at a time.

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...