SANTA CLARITA, Calif.—San Diego Christian College was limited to six hits and The Master's College scored single runs in three separate innings as the top-seeded Mustangs defeated the third-seeded Hawks in the semifinals of the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round on Friday.
TMC now stands 43-15 on the season while SDCC falls to 38-19. It was the eighth time this season that the two teams have met.
TMC scored a run in the top of the first when Jonathan Popadics and Steve Karkenny started the game with consecutive singles, putting runners on the corners with no outs. After an out, Joe Riddle drove in Popadics with a sacrifice fly. Gogue was able to retire the next hitter to get out of the inning.
The Mustangs were able to add another run on a solo homerun on the top of the bat of Chris Talley to push TMC up 2-0.
SDCC looked to get things started in the bottom of the fourth, when Cade Gotta doubled to lead off the inning, but the Hawks were unable to drive him in.
The Hawks again placed their leadoff man on in the bottom of the fifth, when Gilbert Viera was hit by a pitch. Viera then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Peter Hoyt. However, Scott was able to pitch around the leadoff hit batsman to retire the follow two hitters and keep SDCC off the scoreboard.
TMC tacked on a third run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from Spencer Toth.
The Hawks finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh. Jeff Lusardi reached on an error to lead off the inning. Following an out, Lusardi advanced to second on a groundout from Viera. KC Lee then entered to run for Lusardi at second base and scored on a single from Peter Hoyt. Christian Johnson then singled to right center and Hoyt advanced to third. Scott, however, was able to get a foul out to end the Hawks' scoring threat and TMC kept a 3-1 lead.
SDCC threatened again in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Gotta drew a walk. Following the second out, Lusardi singled through the right side, moving Gotta to third. But again the Mustangs were able to pitch out of trouble, getting Chad Erickson to fly out deep to left field.
The Hawks continued to fight, bringing the tying run to the plate again in the bottom of the ninth. Viera started the inning with a double off of TMC closer Tommy Kister. But Kister was able to retire the next three hitters to give the Mustangs the win.
Scott (7-4) earned the win for the Mustangs, going seven innings, allowing only one run and limiting the Hawks' offense to four hits while striking out four. Kister tossed the final two innings to earn his ninth save of the season.
Gogue (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season. The southpaw threw five innings allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three. Tyler Sanborn had three innings of work while Jeremy Blare threw a scoreless ninth.
Lusardi led SDCC, going 2-4, while Hoyt was 1-3 with the lone RBI.
Popadics, Toth, and Caleb Halverson each had a pair of hits for the Mustangs.
The Hawks will battle Tabor College (Kan.) at 11:00am tomorrow with the winner playing TMC at 2:00pm.
**Stats coming soon.**