One for the records: Manchester baseball caps season with trip to College World Series, four All-Americans
It was an historic season for the 2013 baseball Spartans: a trip to the College World Series, Top 10 national ranking, 39-7-1 overall record, three All-Americans, a Capital One Academic All-American and an HCAC championship.
After a soggy spring of indoor practice, Manchester embarked on its season with a road trip to the diamonds in Myrtle Beach, S.C. During the long bus rides and grueling doubleheaders, the Spartans built valuable team camaraderie and a 6-0 springboard to dominating the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Manchester led the conference in many statistics en route to its 22-3 HCAC record. Senior pitcher/outfielder Bryce Murphy of Ossian, Ind., is Conference Player of the Year while Head Coach Rick Espeset is Coach of the Year.
The HCAC dominance earned the Spartans earned a No. 1 seed in the ultra-competitive Mideast Regional. The main rival: No. 2 seed, two-time defending national champion Marietta College.
Playing on the familiar ball field of conference rival Rose-Hulman, the Spartans claimed their second regional title in Manchester history, with four victories in four days. The highlight was avenging last year’s defeat to Marietta in the championship game.
The Regional trophy secure, the Spartans traveled to Appleton, Wis., in search of the national title. Two heartbreaking losses to national powers University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Webster College ended the historic season.
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