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April 13, 2013

Black and Gold offensive display wraps up series sweep

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Senior outfielder Cody Schell (Granger, Ind.) and junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) guided a powerful offensive attacked for No. 14-ranked D3Baseball.com and No. 15-ranked American Baseball Coaches Association Division III Manchester University Saturday, April 13.

The two each drove in six runs, as the Spartans rolled past Hanover 16-3 and 14-2 to close a weekend Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference sweep at Gratz Field. Nieman and Schell were also among a group of eight players who ended with multiple-hit afternoons. Sophomore designated hitter Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.); senior outfielder Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.);  sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.); freshman catcher Aaron Wells (Cowan, Ind.); senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.); and senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) were also in the group that was topped by Kimm and Bryce Murphy with five apiece.

Despite trailing 2-0 after Hanover's opening at-bat, the Black and Gold reeled off 16 runs from the second through sixth innings en route to the game one win. A grand slam home run from Marchant in the fourth highlighted the roll. Senior starting pitcher Kyle Konarski (Elkhart, Ind.), improving to 6-0, struck out seven over seven innings.

MU's bats picked up right where they left to open game two. A seven-run first was part of a 14-run roll over the first through fifth innings. Nieman launched a home run, and Kimm smacked three doubles as part of the attack. Senior pitcher Justin Scott (Fort Wayne, Ind.) went six frames, striking out four to increase his record to 4-1.

The Spartans continue league play Tuesday, April 16, as Anderson University visits Gratz Field for a 4:15 p.m. first pitch.

NOTES: MU's Saturday sweep pushed their lead on the HCAC standings to five games over second-place Rose-Hulman. The Spartans and Fightin' Engineers collide in Terre Haute Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. … The Black and Gold upped their current overall and home field win streaks to 10 games. Through 11 games in North Manchester, the team is hitting at a .366 clip that features 150 hits and 38 doubles as part of a remarkable 115-47 advantage on the scoreboard. The numbers are similar in their 10-game win streak, as they are hitting .353 and have an impressive 2.02 staff earned run average. Bryce Murphy has especially enjoyed the string, hitting .545 and sporting a 2-0 pitching record with two saves and a complete-game shutout as part of a 0.00 ERA. Konarski and Scott have also been strong for the staff with three wins apiece during the run, while Kimm is hitting just below .500 (.455).