Balanced attack sends Spartans to series-opening victory
BLUFFTON, OHIO – Manchester University had five players register multiple-hit contests and received strong pitching en route to a 9-2 win over Bluffton University Friday, April 26.
The Spartans, moving to 26-5-1 overall and 16-3 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, trailed the host Beavers (19-15, 10-9 HCAC) 1-0 through two before a four-run third inning outburst gave them the lead for good. Senior outfielder Cody Schell (Granger, Ind.) and sophomore designated hitter/outfielder Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.) each smacked RBI singles in the frame.
MU added a single run in the fifth and then broke open the contest with four more tallies in the ninth. Senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) drilled a two-run single as part of the rally.
Murphy's two hits and three RBIs were part of a balanced offense. Senior outfielder Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.), Schell and Norris also had two-hit games, and junior catcher Rob Heritz (Granger, Ind.) ended with three hits and two RBIs.
Junior starting pitcher Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.) was the benefactor of the Black and Gold's offensive attack. He gained his fifth win of the year with six and a third innings of work. Padgett was only touched for one earned run.
Manchester University resumes its three-game weekend set with Bluffton Saturday, April 27. The two teams play a doubleheader with a 12 p.m. start time at Memorial Field.
NOTES: Senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) stretched his on-base streak to 33 straight games. Brad Murphy upped his string to 21 games in a row. … The quartet of sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.), senior outfielder Austin Rieke (Fishers, Ind.), junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) and Norris are each above 10 consecutive games of reaching base safely. Kimm stands at 14, while Rieke is at 13, Nieman has done so in 12 straight and Norris has in 11 successive contests. … The Spartans' win was their sixth straight and 18th in the last 20 against Bluffton.