MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Manchester University opened its 2013 season in a big way at the plate Saturday, March 2.
The Spartans, posting a 13-12 win over PSU-Harrisburg and a 13-1 victory over Ursinus College, collected 31 hits of which nine went for extra bases. Seven players concluded day one of the spring trip with three hits-or-more led by the infield trio of senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.), senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) with five each.
MU needed every bit of their 13-run, 13-hit output in the opener against a determined PSU-Harrisburg club. Fueled by five Black and Gold errors and timely hitting, the Lions led 8-4 after five and half frames and then rebounded after the Spartans posted eight in the bottom of the sixth with three in the seventh and one in the eighth to force a 12-12 tie. Coach Rick Espeset's team pushed across the eventual winning run in the bottom of the eighth when sophomore designated hitter Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.) walked, stole second and scored on an infield error. Senior relief pitcher Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.) worked a scoreless ninth to wrap up the win.
The nightcap was all Black and Gold. With junior hurler Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.) firing a complete-game, four-hit, no-earned run, eight-strikeout gem, MU's offense supported his work by pushing across a combined eight runs over the second, third and fourth innings. Junior designated hitter Dan Maringer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) led the offense, as Maringer rapped four hits and Niemann clouted a two-run home run, one of two round-trippers for him during the night.
MU continues its Myrtle Beach trip with a doubleheader against Manhattanville Sunday, March 3. First pitch in game one is 12 p.m.
NOTES: Bryce Murphy resumed a modest seven-game hitting streak, dating back through last season, with safeties in both games. … Padgett's eight strikeouts against Ursinus were the most for him in a start since he struck out nine in a win over Mt. St. Joseph last April.