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April 21, 2013

Black and Gold wrap up key HCAC road series win

TERRE HAUTE, IND. – A solid starting pitching performance from senior Justin Scott (Fort Wayne, Ind.) helped lift Manchester University past Rose-Hulman 4-1 Sunday, April 21.

Scott's eight-inning, six-strikeout effort closed out an important late-season Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series win for the Spartans (25-5-1 overall, 15-3 HCAC). Picking up his fourth straight win to go to 5-1, the senior dropped his season earned run average to 1.78, giving up just one earned run on six hits.

Manchester University's offense was kept at bay over the first six innings by Rose-Hulman starter Andrew Stahl. However, in the seventh, sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.), extending his hit streak to 13 games, led off with a home run to tie the game at 1-1. Junior designated hitter Ryne Lehrman (Hoagland, Ind.) singled two outs later, and the eventual winning run scored when senior center fielder Austin Rieke (Fishers, Ind.), as part of a seven-hit series, singled to plate freshman pinch-runner Sean Knepper (Bremen, Ind.).

The visitors added two big insurance runs in the eighth. After three walks, two of which were intentionally given, MU cashed in with an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of senior left fielder Cody Schell (Granger, Ind.) and an RBI single from sophomore catcher Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.). The home side put its leadoff hitter on in the ninth with no one out, but senior pitcher Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.) continued his strong relief presence for the Black and Gold by earning his eighth save with two ground balls.

MU increased its conference lead over second-place Anderson to three games. The Spartans continue their current road swing with a single nine-inning game at Defiance College of Ohio Tuesday, April 23. Game time is 4:15 p.m.

NOTES: While Bryce Murphy's 35-game on-base streak closed Sunday, fellow seniors Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) (32 games) and Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) (20 games) extended their strings. Four other Spartans have double-digit on-base streaks in Kimm (13), Rieke (12), junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) (11) and Norris (10). … Kimm's hit string is part of a .463 batting average, 25 hits, five doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs and a .667 slugging percentage for the sophomore in the span.