ANDERSON, IND. – No. 16-ranked D3Baseball.com and No. 19-ranked American Baseball Coaches Association Division III Manchester University took advantage of four multiple-hit contests and a sterling pitching performance from senior Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind.) Tuesday, Apr. 2.
The Spartans opened the yearly series with Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University with a 2-0 win at AU's Don Braden Field. The win moved the Black and Gold (16-3-1 overall, 6-1 HCAC) into sole possession of first place in the league.
It didn't take long for the offense to click against the host Ravens' staff. MU loaded the bases in the opening inning and pushed a run across when sophomore second baseman Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.), making the most of playing in front of friends and family in his hometown, singled in Bryce Murphy. It was one of three hits for Kimm in the game. The Spartans added an insurance run in the eighth, as Bryce Murphy aided his pitching cause with an RBI single to score senior center fielder Austin Rieke (Fishers, Ind.). Rieke joined Kimm and Bryce Murphy in the multiple-hit category as did senior first baseman Brad Murphy (Fort Wayne, Ind.).
The two-run cushion was more than enough for Bryce Murphy. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth as part of a complete-game victory. His final line included nine strikeouts and just one walk and three hits surrendered.
MU continues its schedule Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6. Earlham College visits for a single nine-inning game Friday at 4:15 p.m. and a pair of nine-inning contests Saturday, beginning at 12 p.m., at Gratz Field.
NOTES: Prior to Tuesday's game, the Spartans' national poll stock continued to be strong. They remained at No. 16 on D3Baseball.com and jumped into the top 20 on the ABCA poll at No. 19. … Murphy's outing dropped his miniscule season earned run average even farther down. He goes into the weekend at 0.57 with a 2-2 record and a team-best 30 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .188 against him. … Kimm's three-hit game was part of a recent stretch where his batting average has risen 38 points over the last nine games. He's compiled five multiple-hit contests in the span and taken over the team's multiple-hit game lead with 11. … Bryce Murphy and senior shortstop Corey Marchant (Fort Wayne, Ind.) have reached base safely in every game this season. Murphy's overall streak is at 25 straight, while Marchant is at 21 going into the weekend.