The Warriors (3-7, 3-6) scored two runs in the first inning and five in the fourth to give starter Erik Gaustad his first win (1-0). Westmont produced 11 hits in the nine-inning game while playing errorless ball.
De Leon got things rolling in the top of the first inning when he was hit by a pitch with two outs. Freshman first baseman Mark Boujikian moved him to second on a single through the left side. Westmont loaded the bases when junior right fielder Taylor Grace reached on an error by the Mustangs’ third baseman. Freshman centerfielder Taylor Maddox stepped to the plate and delivered a two-RBI single to left that put Westmont up, 2-0.
Ten Warriors went to the plate in the fourth inning and five scored. Third baseman Jordan Bottenfield singled up the middle to start the inning. Sophomore catcher Luke Montzingo reached on an error and Bottenfield moved to third. Junior left fielder Derek Fugitt then was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out and the top of the order coming up.
Senior designated hitter Cody Chapman hit a two-RBI single up the middle that moved Fugitt to third base. Fugitt then scored and Chapman moved to second when a pick-off attempt went awry for The Master’s. Senior second baseman Anthony Martinez drove home Chapman on another single up the middle, becoming the fifth batter in a row to reach base safely. Martinez became the first out when he attempted to steal second base — an unfortunate move because De Leon stepped to the plate next and sent the ball over the fence for a solo homer.
Gaustad was producing a solid performance on the mound, meanwhile, allowing just one base runner in the first three innings, and that on a walk. The Mustangs would rough him up a bit in the second inning and produce two runs, but the senior right-hander responded by pitching two and a third more scoreless innings.
The Master’s (12-3, 5-3) picked up two more runs in the eighth inning after right-handed freshman reliever Keith Johnson gave up a single and a double to lead off the inning. Sophomore right-hander Timothy Crabbe appeared in a closer role in the ninth and picked up the save, his first.
Westmont will play a doubleheader at San Diego Christian on Saturday in Lakeside.
Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.