Cal Lutheran catcher Kevin Wynn had been swinging wildly at fastballs all day so he was not surprised to find another one come his way in the eighth inning.
Wynn, who had been hitless in his first four at-bats, blasted a two-run home run to give Cal Lutheran a 10-9 victory over The Master's College on Thursday in an NAIA District III game at CLU.
Wynn saved himself from a totally unproductive day with his second home run of the season and prevented Cal Lutheran from letting get away a game it had been winning through six innings. The Kingsmen have won four in a row to improve their record to 6-4 and 1-0 in district play.
Master's (4-5, 3-2) took a 9-7 lead after scoring two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings. Eric Beagles hit a two-run home run in the seventh to tie the score and Tod Skinner's two-run blast in the eighth gave the Mustangs the lead.
Cal Lutheran, however, needed only three pitches to wipe away the deficit and remove starting and losing pitcher Jeff Hagy (1-3) from the game.
Anthony Espitia singled to right to lead off the eighth and scored on Jon Egertson's double to right. Wynn then drove Hagy's next pitch over the left-field fence for the winning runs.
"It was a fastball down the middle of the plate," Wynn said. "He was starting off every batter with a fastball. We were talking about it in the dugout. After I saw those other two hits, I knew what to expect."
Cal Lutheran first-year Coach Rich Hill told his team not to be concern with Hagy's off-speed pitches.
"I told them to look fastball and adjust to the curve," Hill said. "We started to zone in on his fastball in the latter innings. Wynn really turned it pretty well."
Hill was a better prognosticator than before the season when he said that he expected his team to win with its bunting and base-running skills. The Kingsmen have hit 11 home runs in 10 games.
"I didn't think we had the physical characteristics to be a home run-hitting team," Hill said. "I think the two things that surprise me the most is our ability to hit the long ball and our ability to come back."
Cal Lutheran also has a flair for not being able to retire the side in order. Master's sent at least four batters to the plate in each inning and scored seven of its nine runs with two out.
"I talked to the pitchers in the fall about bearing down with two outs," Hill said. "I told them to go hard and not let up. But you have to give credit to Master's. They are a good fastball-hitting team."
Hill looked at his pitching chart and estimated that at least half of Master's 16 hits came on fastballs.
Starting pitcher Matt Shepherd gave up 13 hits in 6 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 3.
"Shepherd wasn't as effective as his previous two outings," Hill said. "He had trouble keeping his curveball down and keeping their batters off balance."
Shawn Wheelock (1-0) pitched two innings to earn the victory and Chris Vanole struck out Tony Ellis to earn the save.
Ellis--who hit a home run in the second inning--Jeff Holen and Skinner each had three hits for Master's. Espitia had three hits and scored three runs and Egertson had 2 hits and 3 runs batted in.
Tom Bonds played in his second game after missing eight games because of a sprained right ankle and went 1 for 5 with an RBI.