A key early-season in-state and regional clash is on the docket Sunday, March 10, as Manchester University takes on DePauw University. The Spartans and Tigers are scheduled for an 11 a.m. first pitch at Walker Field on DePauw's campus.
Spartan Shorts: Sunday's doubleheader features a pair of nine-inning games. … Coach Rick Espeset's Spartans bring a 6-0 record into the regional and in-state battle with the Tigers of the North Coast Athletic Conference. They moved up a few spots on the week two D3Baseball.com top 25 poll, earning 14 ranking votes for the No. 36 slot. … The Black and Gold ended their six-game stay at The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with a .379 batting average. Along individual lines, senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) batted .500 to top the starters' list, while junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) drove in 18 runs and had an .815 slugging percentage with four doubles, a triple and two home runs. … The Spartan pitching staff turned in a strong 2.50 earned run average. Senior Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.) led the pitching staff efforts with three appearances, a 0.82 earned run average, two saves, a win and 11 strikeouts. He was joined by junior Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.) with a complete game win under his belt. … The Spartans' defense turned five double plays and finished with a .948 fielding percentage during the span. … Padgett picked up the first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week honor following his mastery in a 13-1 win over Ursinus March 8. He struck out eight Bears, his highest total in a game since he K'ed nine against Mt. St. Joseph last April, didn't give up an earned run and surrendered only four hits. … DePauw claimed three of four from MU a year ago, but the Black and Gold earned a split in 2011. … Going back to the end of the 2012 season, Manchester University has won three of its last four at home.
Another In-State Clash: Taylor University of Indiana visits Gratz Field for a 3 p.m. game Wednesday, March 13.