CRAWFORDSVILLE, IND. – If baseball fans enjoyed a strong amount of offense, an NCAA Division III in-state clash between Manchester University and Wabash College was to their liking Tuesday, March 19.
The Spartans and Little Giants combined for 29 runs and 30 hits in MU's 15-14 victory at Goodrich Ballpark.
The visitors jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead through two-and-a-half frames, fueled by a bases-loaded triple off the bat of senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) that was part of a five-run second inning rally. The hosts answered with six in the third and three in the fourth for a 9-9 tie. No. 22/27 ranked Manchester University (10-2-1) reopened the advantage to 15-9, behind a five-run sixth as junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Mchigan City, Ind.) rapped a two-run single during the roll. However, Wabash (4-7) surged back again with three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to trim the deficit to 15-14. MU senior pitcher Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.) shut off potential rally attempts in the eighth and ninth innings to pick up his third save.
Manchester University's 14-hit attack was buoyed by Bryce Murphy, senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Nieman. The trio each turned in three-hit efforts. Bryce Murphy added two RBIs, Marchant finished with four RBIs, and Nieman kept his RBI prowess going with three driven in to push his season total to 29.
The Spartans continue their week by opening the 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference calendar Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, by hosting Franklin College at Gratz Field. Game times are 1 p.m. for a Saturday doubleheader and Sunday single-game format.
NOTES: The two teams also combined for nine extra base hits, eight of which were doubles. … Each side had five players end the day with multiple-hit games. … Junior pitcher Josh Copp (Sharpsville, Ind.) earned the victory for the Black and Gold. He worked three innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out four.