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Noe, Maddox Key Westmont Win in 10th

Cast of freshmen plays vital role in 8-6 victory over The Master's.

Tenth-inning RBI singles by freshman catcher Kyle Noe and freshman center fielder Taylor Maddox earned Westmont an 8-6 win over The Master’s on Thursday in Santa Clarita.

The Warriors (8-24 overall, 4-22 in Golden State Athletic Conference play) split the season series against the Mustangs (25-13-1, 13-13), with each team winning two games on the opponent’s home field.

Senior starter Jonathan White pitched seven and one-third innings for the Warriors but did not figure in the decision. He gave up six runs, three of which were earned, on 10 hits and walked two and struck out four. Freshman reliever Keith Johnson (2-2) earned the win, pitching two and two-third scoreless innings, giving up two hits. He walked two and struck out two. Brian Reiner (2-2) took the loss for the Mustangs after pitching two innings in relief.

A lead-off triple in the first inning by Maddox resulted in an early 1-0 lead for the Warriors. Maddox, who was three for six at the plate, scored on a ground ball to second by junior right fielder Derek Fugitt. But the Mustangs scored twice in the bottom of the second inning, leaving Westmont with a 2-1 deficit.

Freshman third baseman Jordan Bottenfield led off the top of the fifth with a single to right and then stole second base to put himself in scoring position. Senior second baseman Philip Valle doubled to right center to tie the game at two runs each. After an infield single by senior shortstop Anthony Martinez, Noe was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out.

Maddox grounded into a double play but Valle scored and Martinez moved to third on the play. That brought up Fugitt, who earned his second RBI of the day with a single to right field, giving Westmont a 4-2 lead.

An RBI single by The Master’s Kirk Nungester in the bottom half of the fifth made the score 4-3.

After freshman first baseman Colten Christian singled to center to lead off the top of the eighth inning for Westmont, senior left fielder Eric Gaustad delivered his first home run to put the Warriors up, 6-3.

White took the mound in the bottom of the eighth and retired the first man he faced. But the next four hitters each singled, resulting in two runs in and two men on base. Johnson was called in to take over for White. After walking Pete Goeman to load the bases, he gave up a sacrifice fly to A.J. Morris before retiring the next Mustangs batter. The result was a 6-6 tie at the end of eight innings of play.

The Warriors threatened in the ninth inning when Martinez led off with a single to center and Noe reached on a fielder’s choice on which no outs were recorded. But the Warriors could not come up with the hits to score a run, sending the game still tied to the bottom of the ninth.

Nungester led off the bottom of the ninth for The Master’s with a walk and reached third base with two outs, but a pop-up ended the Mustangs threats.

Leading off the top of the 10th, senior designated hitter Cody Chapman walked and was bunted to second on a sacrifice by Bottenfield. After Valle ground out, Martinez was intentionally walked. That’s when Noe, from Santa Maria’s St. Joseph High, stepped to the plate and delivered his game-winning RBI single to center field. Martinez advanced to third on the play and scored when Maddox singled to center.

Johnson gave up a single to start the bottom of the 10th but then retired the next three batters to clinch the win for the Warriors.

Westmont returns to Russ Carr Field on Saturday for a doubleheader with Point Loma Nazarene. First pitch is at noon.

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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