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TMC baseball secures GSAC title with sweep

Posted: April 27, 2013 8:10 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2013 8:10 p.m.

The Master’s College Mustangs baseball team is selfish.

“Co-championships are almost like kissing your sister; we definitely wanted to win it outright. It wouldn’t be the same otherwise,” said TMC third baseman Cody Harris on whether he wanted to share the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season championship.

The Mustangs made sure they didn’t have to share anything on Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader from Westmont College, 5-1 and 10-0, at TMC.

The Mustangs (37-15, 25-11 GSAC) had secured at least a share of the GSAC title with second place Concordia University after Friday’s victory, but Saturday’s wins gave them their first title since 2003 outright.

“This has been a remarkable season. We’ve had to overcome a lot of things, but the strength comes from Christ,” said TMC head coach Monte Brooks. “The thing about this team is that it has been a team (effort), so many people have contributed.”

As far as being a team effort, Saturday was no exception.

In game one, seven different Mustangs had a hit and TMC starter Tyler Elrod and reliever James Scott teamed up to allow Westmont (14-22, 24-26 GSAC) one run on seven hits.

TMC trailed 1-0 until the fifth, when it scored three runs, the third of which coming on a Sam Robison RBI single. Then TMC’s Steven Karkenny put the game out of reach in the sixth with his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot.

In game two, 10 different Mustangs recorded a hit and four Mustang pitchers combined on a shutout. TMC didn’t wait nearly as long as in game one to take the lead, scoring five in the first, four in the second and one in the third on its way to a series and season sweep of Westmont.

“We played our best baseball this weekend,” Brooks said. “Big innings gave us the momentum.”

Big innings and offensive momentum have characterized the Mustangs recently; they’ve scored 46 runs over the course of their last six games.

A big part of that has been the hot hitting of Ryan Shackelford and Cody Harris, who have combined for 21 hits in those six games.

“Those guys kicking it into gear at this juncture is such a blessing. It’s not a shock to me though, it was a shock that they were struggling,” said Brooks of Harris and Shackelford.

TMC’s bats won’t have much time to cool off as the Mustangs head into the GSAC tournament starting next Thursday, followed by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics regional tournament May 9-13, both hosted by TMC at Pete Reese Field.

But on Saturday, soaked in Gatorade, Brooks stopped for at least a moment to contemplate what’s already been accomplished.

“They are so unselfish, and because of their unselfishness there was a great resolve and accountability and that is what made this group so special,” Brooks said of his team. “I tell you frankly this season has been the highlight of my career.”



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