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TMC baseball loses NAIA Opening Round game

Posted: May 12, 2014 11:04 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2014 11:04 p.m.
 

The ill-timed slump continued for The Master’s College baseball on Monday.

And this time, TMC’s promising season is in serious jeopardy of screeching to a halt.

The TMC Mustangs lost 4-0 to Davenport University of Michigan in the first game of the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round at The Master’s College.

That now makes four straight losses for the Mustangs, three of which have come in postseason tournaments.

TMC (37-17) also lost its first two games of the Golden State Athletic Conference double-elimination tournament two weeks ago.

Now in an even more important double-elimination tournament, the Mustangs are one loss away from the seeing an impressive season come to an end.

“We haven’t clutched up at the plate,” said TMC head coach Monte Brooks of the team’s recent downturn. “We’ve had chances and we just haven’t come up with the big inning.”

Last year, the Mustangs went into the season red hot and won the GSAC Tournament and the NAIA Opening Round tournament, which also took place at TMC’s home field.

TMC is the No. 2 seed in the five-team bracket, but No. 3 seed Davenport Panthers (42-15) took the upper hand quickly on Monday.

The Panthers strung together a four-run, four-hit rally in the first inning and that was the last of the scoring for the day.

Davenport pitcher Corey Murphy took it from there, throwing all nine innings one his way to five-hit shutout. He struck out four and walked one.

Tommy Kister started for TMC, but was relieved by Jason Karkenny after one inning. Karkenny pitched seven shutout innings to close out the game.

Hitting wise, it was a series of missed opportunities for the Mustangs, who at one point had the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth inning.

A strikeout and a double play ended the scoring threat.

“Pitching and defense, we’ve had some great performances, but we just have not hit with runners in scoring position,” Brooks said.

With the loss, TMC now has a big hole to climb out of in order to try to advance out of the NAIA Opening Round and into its second straight NAIA World Series.

The Mustangs will have to win five straight games across the next three days to win the bracket.

It begins with a 9 a.m. matchup against Vanguard today. If TMC wins, it will play against the University of British Columbia University later in the day at 3 p.m.

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