NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A pair of freshmen sent baseballs out of Gratz Field Tuesday, April 4, leading a 10-hit attack for Manchester University.
Freshman designated hitter Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind.), moving a personal hit streak to 11 successive games, clouted a three-run blast to left field, cutting an early 4-0 lead for D3Baseball.com No. 20-ranked Otterbein University from 4-0 to 4-3 in the bottom of the third. Fellow Class of 2020 member Nick Rush, a second baseman from Terre Haute, Ind., launched a rocket well over the right field wall and into Carl W. Burt Memorial Stadium in the Spartans' final at-bat for his first collegiate round tripper.
Even with that power on display for a hearty crowd that braved a chilly early April afternoon, it wasn't enough to overcome a big offensive attack from the visiting Cardinals. Fending off the three-run Black and Gold comeback in the third, Otterbein, improving to 17-5, piled up 12 runs over the fourth through sixth frames in route to a 17-6 non-conference win.
Coach Rick Espeset's team, concluding a set of five games against Ohio Athletic Conference with a 2-3 record, dipped to 7-13 with the defeat. The Spartans turn their attention back to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8, as preseason favorite Earlham College comes to North Manchester.
NOTES: Gallatin's rise up the batting average charts directly correlates with his hit streak. He went into the run at .250 and has skyrocketed to .345, second only to senior first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.) on the team … Senior center fielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) resumed his lengthy on-base roll, making it 18 straight contests when he singled in the first.