Staging a furious sixth-inning comeback against Hope International Friday, scoring five runs and tying the game, The Master’s University completed the come-from-behind win, 7-6.
Down 5-0 against Hope International (19-21, 11-17 GSAC), heading into the top of the sixth, shortstop Aaron Shackelford stepped to the plate.
Behind in the count 0-1, Shackelford hit a home run down the left-field line for the Mustangs’ first run of the game.
“Any home run is big and that kind of sparked things,” said head coach Monte Brooks. “We rode that pitcher out with a couple hits. He actually had a couple opportunities earlier in the game and we didn’t capitalize. We had a big inning.”
The Mustangs’ (22-17, 13-14 GSAC) rally was on.
The next two batters, Preston White and Kameron Quitno, who both went 2-for-4 on the day, hit singles putting men on first and second base.
Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Josh Robinson hit a single that brought in one. Robinson ended the night 2-for-5.
The Royals’ lead shrunk to three runs at 5-2.
In a bizarre series of events after a Max Maitland single, two more Mustangs were able to score thanks to sly base running and throwing errors by the Royals.
“They didn’t capitalize on the run down and we were able to extend the inning with their miscues and that could have been a backbreaker,” Brooks said.
A couple batters later, Jaiden France leveled the game at five with an RBI single.
The damage was done and the Mustangs weren’t ready to let up quite yet.
The team scored two more runs — one in the seventh and one in the eighth inning. Mustangs freshman pitcher Caleb Jaime only allowed one more run in the bottom of the eighth.
Heading into the last and final frame, the Mustangs led by one and would never relinquish the lead.
Getting the win, Jaime (1-0) pitched five innings, giving up one earned run on five hits and striking out nine batters.
“He was throwing well and missed some of his spots, but time and time and made quality pitches,” Brooks said. “He just competes every game. He has gotten technically sound and more confident with every game.”
The Mustangs conclude the three-game series with the Royals tomorrow with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“Just play smart, play with a lot of enthusiasm and play wisely,” Brooks said of his team’s mentality for the games. “Our goals are to go through the tendencies of the opponent. We have struggled with some mental mistakes over the past few weeks and tonight we really proved something to ourselves.”