Mens Baseball

The Master's College 3, Menlo 2

Date of competition: Friday, April 7, 2017

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It's that time of year where every contest means a little bit more, and that is true for both the No. 9 Menlo Oaks and The Master's University. The Oaks reside in the top spot in the Golden State Athletic Conference, and entering the day, the Mustangs were clinging tight to the final playoff spot: spot number five. The results from Friday night's series opener didn't do much to change the standings, but it makes things a little bit tighter all around.

An early home run by Julian Jarrard was not enough to propel the Oaks to victory, as the Mustangs struck late to win, 3-2. Menlo is now 27-10 (13-5) while the Mustangs are 21-18 (11-11). Menlo holds a one-half game lead over RV Vanguard for the top spot, while the Mustangs are one-half game above Arizona Christian for the final playoff spot.

Things got started in a hurry for Menlo as they typically do with the power bats they have at the top of the order. Jordan Getzelman, the program's single-season leader in home runs, didn't get a chance to muscle one out of the yard, instead walking with one out. He was followed by the hero from yesterday's game, Julian Jarrard. He hit the walk-off single to give Menlo the win against Westmont in the 1th inning on Thursday, and he got Menlo on the board today. He blasted a two-run home run to put the Oaks up 2-0, the third time in the past eight days that Jarrard has homered in the opening frame.

Andrew Merken got the game one start for Menlo after the game played one day earlier. Jonah Jarrard for the Mustangs singled up the middle with one out to get the inning started, and after a pinch runner, an RBI-double ensued to left-center field to score the pinch runner from first. Then, the pitchers began to take over the game. The next four innings featured just four hits evenly divided: two apiece. The Mustangs took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth against Merken, unfortunately leaving him as the game's losing pitcher. Merken allowed a double down the left field line to kick start the inning, and then hit the following batter. After inducing a pop out for out number two, he walked the bases loaded. With the game on the line, Caleb Menez singled to right field to score a pair of runs and get the Mustangs out in front 3-2, a lead they would not relinquish.

Menlo mustered just two base runners over the final three innings, and it was Reed Kienle both times. He walked in the seventh, and then doubled with two outs in the ninth to make things interesting.

Unfortunately he was left stranded after a Menlo strikeout ended the inning and the game. The strikeout was popular with the Mustangs pitching staff: they recorded 14 of them.

The three-game series wraps up Saturday with a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.

-- Brian Brownfield, Menlo Athletics

posted by Rick on Apr 8, 2017 at 12:17 am

Andrew Merken got the start for the Oaks. Photo courtesy of Menlo Athletics.

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