TERRE HAUTE, IND. – Manchester University pushed its current win streak to 14 with a gritty victory over President's Athletic Conference member Washington and Jefferson Thursday, May 16.
The No. 9-ranked D3Baseball.com and No. 12-ranked American Baseball Coaches Association Division III Spartans, improving to 37-5-1, battled back from an early 2-0 deficit against the Presidents (31-12) to claim a 4-2 win in the winner's bracket of the 2013 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional at Art Nehf Field. Senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led a five-hit offensive attack, going two-for-three with two runs scored.
After W&J posted single runs in the first and second innings, a bases loaded walk to senior left fielder Cody Schell (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by sophomore designated hitter Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.) tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third. Two innings later, MU broke up the tie with back-to-back sacrifice flies from junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind.) and sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) that scored senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Marchant who got into scoring position with nobody out after a walk, base hit and W&J error.
Senior pitcher Kyle Konarski (Elkhart, Ind.) battled through five-plus innings, stranding nine Presidents' base runners, to gain his 10th victory of the season. He allowed just the two earned runs on six hits while striking out two. Senior Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.), entering the game in the bottom of the sixth after the Presidents opened with back-to-back singles, worked out of the jam and scattered two hits over the final four innings to pick up his 11th save.
MU meets up with Ohio Athletic Conference power and two-time defending national champion Marietta College Friday, April 17, in a 4:30 p.m. winner's bracket game. The Pioneers opened the regional tourney with an 11-1 win over Penn State University at Behrend and a 16-1 decision over Thomas More College of Ohio.
NOTES: The Friday clash between the top-seeded Spartans and second-seeded Pioneers marks the second straight regional tourney in which the two sides have met. Marietta picked up a pair of tight-knit victories a year ago en route to the tourney title. … A third inning single from Kimm increased his hitting streak to 11 games. … Brad Murphy, Kimm and Norris each stretched their impressive on-base streaks. Murphy, behind two walks and one hit by pitch, moved to 32 consecutive contests reaching safely, while Kimm, with a single, and Norris, with a second inning safety, upped their skeins to 25 and 22 straight games.