Tuesday’s sixth inning in Lawrenceville, Georgia, embodied the dichotomy that catcher Jonah Jarrard sees in playing a game where the ball is jumping off bats and all over the yard.
Webber International University of Florida scored six times to eat up all but two runs of The Master’s University’s lead. Then the Mustangs struck back with three of their own, highlighted by Jarrard’s RBI double that bounced up against the right-field wall.
“It’s fun and stressful at the same time,” Jarrard said.
Ultimately, TMU held off another Webber rally and hung on for a 14-12 win, pushing the Mustangs to the cusp of a second straight trip to the NAIA World Series.
To advance, all TMU (38-21) needs is a win today at noon against the winner of Webber International and Georgia Gwinnett.
But, first, there was Tuesday’s madness.
“It’s fun in the regard that as a team we hit really well and are putting good at-bats together,” Jarrard said. “It’s stressful in that they also hit really well.”
— TMU Athletics (@TMUAthletics) May 16, 2017
Jarrard finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs. Mustang leadoff Max Maitland had four hits and two RBIs.
Five Mustangs drove in at least two runs.
The outburst came in support of starting pitcher Scott Savage, who mostly cruised through the game’s first five innings, holding the Warriors (39-16) to two runs while TMU scored 10.
Then Webber strung seven hits together in the sixth. A TMU error didn’t help.
Aiden Stout came on and recorded the last out, but Webber got to him for three runs in the seventh.
TMU led 13-12 heading to the eighth inning, where Maitland singled in a run for a little insurance.
Nate Bonsell provided a solid inning of relief for TMU – Danny Lutz provided two.
The story, again, though, was the Mustangs’ offense.
“They’re maturing as hitters,” said TMU coach Monte Brooks. “It’s not that everything is hitting our bats. It’s that they are maturing as hitters – better plate selection, more discipline. What they do is keep pretty level heads.”
One guy Brooks said has matured: Jarrard, who entered Tuesday hitting .403 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs.