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Baseball - Tue, May 9, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
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The Master's University
(RV)Hope International

REDWOOD CITY, CA – It's difficult to win a game when allowing an opponent 13 unearned runs, and the (RV) Royals learned that the hard way in the 2017 GSAC Championship game on May 9. The Royals played The Master's in the title game and the Mustangs feasted at the plate in innings where HIU pitchers were forced to throw extra pitches to get outs and stop the bleeding.

Josh Steele (SO/Brea, CA) made his third start of the season and picked up his first loss of the year after allowing eight runs in only an inning and a third – only two of the runs were earned as the Royals' defense struggled to support Steele with adequate fielding and accurate throws in the opening frames. Justin Moulds (SR/Huntington Beach, CA) finished the second and made it through three and a third before getting the hook in the fifth – Moulds gave up seven runs, none of which were earned, as the Royals' defense struggles persisted. Art Salazar Jr. (SO/Cypress, CA) pitched three and a third after finishing the fifth and allowed a pair of earned runs on three hits before Jacob Rucker (FR/Las Vegas, NV) finished the game with a scoreless inning and two strikeouts in the ninth.

On the opposite side of the diamond, the Mustangs got one of the rarer accomplishments in baseball, a complete game from a relief pitcher. The Mustangs' starter lasted five at-bats and left the game with a 2-0 count against Sean David Clark (SR/Redding, CA) after failing to record an out, allowing five earned runs on three hits with a pair of walks on his line. The Mustangs' reliever lasted the entire game on the hill and made 118 pitches while surrendering five runs to the Royals, only four of which were earned.

TMU scored four in the first frame to start the game with a strong lead after storming into the championship game with a 14-11 win over Vanguard in the first game of the day – the Mustangs came back from the dead in the first game of the day after trailing 7-1 in the second and kept the momentum going. The Mustangs continued to opportunistic with runners aboard and would capitalize on errors and mental miscues through the afternoon from one game to the next.

HIU plated five in the bottom half of the first to take the lead and batted through the order in the inning with doubles from Brett Thompson (SR/Newport Beach, CA) and Will Davis (FR/Anaheim, CA) and singles from Brandon Gonzalez (SO/Orange, CA) and Nolan Kraemer (FR/Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) forcing in Royals baserunners.

However, the second inning was deadly for HIU and the Royals never recovered after allowing the Masters' hitters to run rampant after errors and mistakes prolonged the inning to the tune of six runs on just three hits.

Trailing 10-5, the Royals worked to make up ground but could only do so one run at a time against the Mustangs' reliever. Jeff Murray (JR/La Mirada, CA) led off with a double in the third and would come in to score, Justin Broussard (SR/Upland, CA) got a solo home run to leave the yard in the fourth, and Clark homered in the sixth, but the long ball was only so helpful after allowing four or more runs in three different innings.

The Royals pulled within three after Broussard's bomb but immediately surrendered five more to the Mustangs in the next half-inning for a 15-7 tally midway through the game. The Royals outscored TMU 3-2 in the second half of the game but the rally was not enough to move the needle against the fiery Mustang bats.

TMU has now outscored opponents 56-38 in its first five games at the tournament and has registered three games with double-digit runs and four games of nine runs or more – the Mustangs average 11.2 runs per contest at the Tournament and have outscored teams by an average score of 13-8 in their four wins.

The Royals will have one more shot to clinch the Tournament title tomorrow with a winner-take-all game slated for 12:00 pm – because of the double-elimination format HIU must lose back to back if The Masters wants to duplicate its 2016 magic by coming through the loser bracket and winning both Championship games for the title.

Links to live coverage will be available on our website as per usual on hiuroyals.com.

Overall GSAC Streak
0-0 (.000) 0-0 (.000)