Mustangs scuttle the Jr. Pirates

Andrew Gonzalez

It’s about how you start, and how you finish. The saying is usually different, but the Los Medanos College Mustangs proved it true in their opening regular season game against the Modesto Jr. Pirates, earning the win 10-0.

The Mustangs came fired up to play, evidenced by the pre-game huddle where every player jumped and yelled in excitement, pumping each other up before the first pitch. And when that first pitch came, they were locked in.

Taking the pitching mound on the LMC home field was starter Llewelyn Stone, who struck out two batters in the first inning, quickly ending the Pirate’s at bat.

Last year’s conference MVP Jonathan Allen picked up where he left off, hitting a single for LMC in the first at bat of the season for the team. His single was the spark that lit the fuse for the team’s offense.

Two batters later, Allen found himself at third base after help from a bunt and Pirate miscue after the catcher was unable to secure a ball thrown his way. Riley Cleary then matched Allen’s single and drove him in to score, putting the Mustangs up 1-0.

Back-to-back doubles by Antone Self and Gabe Taylor pressed the attack further, driving in two more runs for the Mustangs. The next batter grounded out to third, and the inning seemed all but over for the team as they were down to their last out.

But the LMC batters learned to live on the words being echoed from their teammates in the dugout throughout the entirety of the game. “Be picky!”

And so their patience, and their “pickiness” of the pitches, proved to be a key difference in the game, as they soon found themselves with the bases loaded. Deon White stepped up to bat, he saw his pitches, waited, and ultimately was walked driving in another run, before a pop-up ended the inning.

The first inning that is, where the Mustangs went through all 9 batters, producing a 4-0 score in a flash.

The game then slowed down significantly, as neither team was able to consistently string together hits and drive in runs. Modesto Jr. didn’t prove to be a threat until the fourth inning when they loaded the bases, but saw the opportunity go to waste after a grounder to third ended the inning.

The Pirates were eager to swing their bats, as they repeatedly hit the ball deep, but not deep enough to where the Mustang outfielders couldn’t make a play on the ball. They could not find a rhythm to their swings, highlighted by the fact they had four batters or less in each inning except for that lone fourth inning.

With the game still at 4-0, a Jose Vasquez single and a Jason Kreske double drove in one and two runs respectively, padding the lead to a comfortable 7-0. The Mustangs added two more in the bottom of the seventh, and another in the eighth, pushing their score to double digits. This score proved to last through the end of the ninth inning.

It was a dominant performance by the Mustangs overall to begin their 2017 campaign, as they look to build on their second place finish last year in the Bay Valley Conference. For more information on LMC baseball visit