NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Fueled by eight strong innings from junior pitcher Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.), Manchester University got its regular season-closing series against Mt. St. Joseph off to a strong start Friday, May 3.
Padgett, improving to 6-1 for the No. 13-ranked D3Baseball.com and No. 15-ranked American Baseball Coaches Association Division III Spartans (30-5-1 overall, 20-3 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference), struck out seven Lions and issued only one free pass to highlight a 6-2 win. It was his fifth start in which he went at least eight frames.
Manchester University's offense gave Padgett plenty of support. A good share of it came courtesy of the long ball, as sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) hit two round-trippers and junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) added another. Kimm's two-hit game topped MU, while Nieman, continuing his remarkable RBI proficiency, drove in two runs to move his season total to 61.
The Spartans resume their series with MSJ (8-26, 4-19 HCAC) with a pair of nine-inning games beginning at 12 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Special events are planned to honor the 10-member Class of 2013, including senior outfielder Tyler Krempasky (South Bend, Ind.) playing a special rendition of the National Anthem on his violin before first pitch.
NOTES: Friday's win marked the program's first 30-or-more win campaign since 2006. … Senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) continued his sparkling on-base streak, reaching for the 25th consecutive game. … The Black and Gold remained ranked second on the third set of NCAA Division III Mideast Regional rankings, released Thursday, May 2.