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May 25, 2013

Late rally subdues Spartans at CWS

APPLETON, WIS. – D3Baseball.com #9-ranked and American Baseball Coaches Association No. 12-ranked Manchester University got out of the gate quickly during day one of the 2013 NCAA Division III College World Series Friday, May 24.

However, a six-run rally over the eighth, ninth and 10th innings from UW-Stevens Point (40-9) sent the Spartans (39-6-1) to a hard-fought 6-5 extra innings loss on Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The loss, ending a 16-game winning streak, drops MU into an elimination game against Webster at 2:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Saturday, May 25.

"Every team here is strong," Coach Rick Espeset said. "Things looked good with the 5-0 lead late, but UW-Stevens Point was relentless.

"I feel like our guys will be resilient following this," he added. "At least we have a chance to come back and play right away tomorrow."

The Spartans jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two frames against UW-Stevens Point after sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) drilled a single through the left side with the bases loaded in the first and senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.) drove in a run in the second with a single. The Black and Gold increased the advantage to 5-0 with single tallies in the sixth and eighth innings behind sophomore designated hitter Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.) and his second home run of the year and an RBI single from senior outfielder Austin Rieke (Fishers, Ind.).

From that moment, the Pointers surged back. The home side collected three in the eighth behind two hits, including a triple, and tied it in the ninth on the heels of another triple and a sacrifice fly that featured a bang-bang play at home plate after a well-placed throw from Rieke to home plate. UWSP, with two outs in their final at-bat, wrapped up the comeback win with a solo home run.

MU's offense produced a 16-hit attack. Senior outfielder/pitcher Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.) finished with three, while freshman catcher Elliot Ford (Rome City, Ind.) ended with four safeties. Senior starting pitcher Justin Scott (Fort Wayne, Ind.) had a solid outing, going seven-plus with just two runs on six hits surrendered. He also struck out four.

NOTES: Despite seeing their win streak conclude, several individual strings continued. Kimm's first inning hit upped his batting skein to 14 games, while Brad Murphy (35 games), Kimm (28 games) and Norris (25 games) each increased their on-base strings. … MU responded positively after its last loss, a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Rose-Hulman April 20, by winning game two from the Fightin' Engineers en route to the series victory and the start of their 16-game win string.