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The Master's College wins first game at NAIA World Series

Posted: May 24, 2013 6:00 p.m.
Updated: May 24, 2013 6:00 p.m.

Now The Master’s College can exhale.

After getting out of a ninth-inning jam, the No. 5 seeded Mustangs defeated No. 4 Northwood University of Texas 4-3 on Friday in the first game of the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.

Now TMC (44-15) gets two days off before it plays on Monday.

“It is so crucial because we get the bye (today), then we’re all off Sunday,” said Mustangs head coach Monte Brooks. “Two days to recoup, practice and get in a better situation. It was crucial.”

The Mustangs got another stellar game from ace Golden State Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year A.J. Work (13-4), who went eight innings, allowing a lone earned run in the first inning, while striking out three, walking two and giving up six hits.

Work handed the ball off to Andrew Klausmeier to close the door on the Knights (43-12), but things got shaky.

Northwood second baseman Isaac Maturino singled to lead off the ninth inning, then Klausmeier got the next two outs.

Jordan Lewis then doubled to put runners on second and third.

Then Maturino scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-2.

Leadoff man Logan Brumley then earned an infield single that scored Lewis to cut the lead to 4-3.

With the pressure on, Klausmeier induced a line out off the bat of Herb Romero to end the game.

“It wasn’t that Klausmeier struggled. He threw strikes,” Brooks said. “They got some hits. They’re a pretty competitive team. But he got the last out.”

The Mustangs played an aggressive style on offense that has been one of their hallmarks all season.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third inning after Northwood catcher Adam Humes singled in a run in the first, The Master’s College got a leadoff bunt single from Cody Harris.

Harris took second base on a wild pitch, then came around to tie the score on a James Scott RBI double.

Two batters later, Jonathan Popadics knocked Scott home with a double.

TMC plated two more in the top of the fourth, with the first coming on a solo home run from Chris Talley off starter Roman Gomez.

“After my first at bat I was able to get the jitters out and actually dial in,” Talley said. “I was able to see a lot of pitches my first at-bat, which is what I wanted to do, so I was able to come back and not be fooled with anything he threw me the next at bat and just sit back and drive.”

Sam Robison followed with a single. Then he stole second and scored on a Harris single for a 4-1 lead.

TMC will get the winner of No. 1 seeded Faulkner (Ala.) and No. 9 Missouri Baptist at 3 p.m. on Monday.

The Mustangs could play every day from Monday to Friday next week in the double elimination tournament.

Brooks said the hope is Work has two more games in him after Friday’s stellar performance.

“With proper time off I think I’ll be able to bounce back and be OK,” Work said, “(Thursday) I could barely throw the ball 90 feet. Today the Lord was gracious and allowed me to play through it, and I had no pain in my shoulder. That was another part of the success today, my shoulder felt fine, I got a little tape job, some ibuprofen and I was good to go.”

— Mason Nesbitt contributed to this story.



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