Santa Clarita, Calif. – In front of a packed home crowd that came out to cheer on their graduating seniors, The Master's College Mustangs won their final regular-season doubleheader against the Westmont Warriors, finishing the season with a 37-15 overall record and a 25-11 conference record, good for the GSAC title.
Mustang senior Tyler Elrod (Modesto, CA) threw six complete innings in the first game, giving up just one run and six hits. He struck out six and only walked one. The win was his seventh of the season. He was relieved by the hard-throwing Mustang starter-turned-reliever James Scott (Saugus, CA), who dominated for three innings, allowing only one hit and no runs.
The Mustang offense took their time warming up in game one, but they turned things on in the fifth. A combination of disciplined at-bats and solid base hits, two hit batters, and a crucial error by the Warriors led to three Mustang runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Mustang left fielder Steven Karkenny (Chatsworth, CA) sealed the deal with a towering two-run homer to left field that bounced off the top of the Mustang clubhouse. Centerfielder Caleb Halverson (Temple City, CA) stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. One of his two hits was a base-hit bunt that started the Mustang surge in the fifth.
In game one, the Warriors started Russell Harmening on the mound. He pitched four and a third innings, but was relieved in the Mustang's three-run fifth. Hunter Christenson then tossed one and a third, giving up three hits and one earned run. He was followed by Michael Kwan and Taylor Martin, who combined for two and a third innings and quenched the Mustang rally.
Offensively, it was a difficult first game for the Warriors. However, first baseman Thomas Hocutt excelled at the plate, scoring the sole Westmont run while going 2-3 and drawing a walk.
The hard-throwing Andrew Klausmeier (Northridge, CA) was on the rubber to start game two. He gave the Mustangs a solid four innings of work and earned his fourth win of the year. Third baseman Cody Harris followed, throwing one and a third perfect innings in front of seven radar guns and a handful of video cameras. Tommy Kister (Saugus, CA) took over in the sixth and pitched one perfect inning as well, before being relieved by senior Daniel Scheaffer, who gave up two hits the seventh before recording the final out.
The Mustangs offense was on fire, racking up five runs in the first inning, four in the second, and another in the third. Joe Riddle (Bakersfield, CA), Jonathan Popadics (Boise, ID), Karkenny, and Ryan Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) led the charge, combining for four RBIs, seven hits (including a triple), and seven runs scored.
Westmont starter Brian Murphy recorded the loss in game two. He was relieved in the second after giving up eight earned runs. His successor, Michael Rishwain, pitched two and a two thirds innings and gave up just one run. Closers Michael Kwan and JP Cohn threw the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, allowing just one hit apiece and no more runs.
The Warrior offense recorded just five hits and no runs against the Mustang defense.
With one of their most successful regular-seasons behind them, the Mustangs now turn their attention to the conference tournament which starts Thursday on Reese Field. Concordia and San Diego Christian, the No. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively, open the tournament at 9:00 a.m., while the top-seeded Mustangs take to the diamond at noon against Arizona Christian.