A Saturday, April 1, doubleheader and Sunday, April 2, single nine-inning game at Bluffton University's Emory Sears Athletic Complex is next on Manchester University's schedule.
Weekend details: First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday … Live statistics for the entire series are viewable via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Victories in the recent series history have been on the side of the Spartans, as they've claimed 23 of the last 29 including winning two of three a year ago in North Manchester.
Spartan Shorts: Sophomore right-handed starting pitcher John Magers (Noblesville, Ind.) produced his second successive sterling effort March 28, leading Manchester University at Defiance College's Craig A. Rutter Field. Magers, nearly untouchable by opposing bats in his last three outings, kept the Yellow Jackets offense at bay in game one of an HCAC doubleheader. Working around three doubles and a pair of walks he issued, the sophomore went five and two-thirds innings, striking out four and being nicked for just one earned run on five hits. Senior Cory Ferguson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) came out of the bullpen and was just as difficult for the home side to solve, going the final three and a third without allowing a run and being touched for just two hits to lock down a 5-1 Spartans' win. On the offensive side, Coach Rick Espeset crew proved efficient with the five tallies crossing due to five safeties of which four drove in runs. An underclassman quartet featuring freshman designated hitter Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind.); sophomore catcher Matt Pritz (LaPorte, Ind.); freshman third baseman Brandin Frazier (Wabash, Ind.); and sophomore shortstop Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) each accounted for an RBI each. The nightcap saw Defiance open a 6-2 lead after eight innings, but the Black and Gold nearly turned the tables for a sweep, as senior center fielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) doubled in a score, and Gallatin continued his red-hot hitting with a two-run single to cut the lead to 6-5. Manchester University appeared on the verge of more with two on and one out, but a pop up and strikeout led DC to the loop split. Three Spartans registered multiple-hit outings in game two as part of a 12-safety attack, as senior designated hitter Lucas Gramman (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) went three-for-five and senior first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.) and junior left fielder Eric Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) added two hits apiece … Schultz' game two efforts at Defiance helped back-up a big awards' session for the senior earlier this week. The conference home run co-leader (five) and second-place doubles' holder (nine) was named the program's first HCAC and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division III Hitter of the Week honoree of the season … The pitching trio of junior Stephen Pinarski (Goshen, Ind.); Ferguson; and Magers are also in top 10 conference statistical territory along with Schultz. Ferguson's three pitching victories are tied for first, while Magers' two are tied for eighth. Pinarski, one of 14 league hurlers with at least one save, is tied for fifth in the category.
Busy Week Ahead: A stretch of four home games in five days opens Tuesday, April 4, as Ohio Athletic Conference foe Otterbein University comes to Gratz Field for a 4:15 p.m. first pitch.