Spartans set for Myrtle Beach games

Spartans set for Myrtle Beach games

A six-game schedule faces Manchester University Saturday, March 1, through Monday, March 3, at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Game specifics: MU takes on Manhattanville College of New York in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. Saturday, the College of Staten Island of New York at 12 p.m. and Wilkes University of Pennsylvania at 3 p.m. in single games Sunday and Muhlenberg College of Pennsylvania at 10 a.m. and Eastern University of Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. Sunday in single games … All contests, set for nine innings, will be played at The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C. … Live video for all games can be viewed, for a pay-per-view fee, at http://streaming.ripkenbaseball.com/myrtle.

Spartan Shorts: The Black and Gold is ranked No. 7 on D3Baseball.com's top 25 for the week of Feb. 24 … Coach Rick Espeset goes into 2014 with the same focus and vision he has in each of his previous 17 seasons. "We are always wanting to build a culture of hard work whether it be in games, practices and student-athletes' college careers," he said. "We understand that we have a young team coming in, but we feel pretty good in most areas from what we've seen in preseason practices. Obviously, there will be some learning that needs to be done in some spots." … Going around the field, Manchester University has the following prospects – Pitching: Seniors Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.) and Temujin Sery (Fort Wayne, Ind.) combined for 16 starts a year ago with Padgett, a first team all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference selection last spring, ending 8-1, and Sery going 3-0 which included the deciding win in the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional. Beyond that, MU has senior Josh Copp (Sharpsville, Ind.) and junior Sean Liedtky (Walkerton, Ind.) with experience as Copp threw 13 innings, and Liedtky did the same in eight and a third frames last season. "We need to replace a lot of innings, but there are several guys back who were on the team a year ago that didn't get a chance to contribute that are ready to do so this year as well as some new faces that can help us," Espeset said; Infield – It will be anchored by returning all-HCAC, all-Mideast Region tournament and D3Baseball.com and American Baseball Coaches Association all-Mideast Region selection Trevor Kimm, a junior from Anderson, Ind. Kimm hit .372 with seven home runs, 11 doubles and 53 RBIs a year ago and will hold down the shortstop spot, according to Espeset. He will be joined by either senior Dan Maringer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) or freshman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.) at first base, sophomore Sean Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) at second base, and several options at the hot corner including junior transfer Logan Hug (Indianapolis, Ind.), sophomore Aaron Wells (Cowan, Ind.), freshman Blake Fry (Middlebury, Ind.) and sophomore Brock Anson (Warsaw, Ind.). "I like the depth and potential in the infield," Espeset said. "Kimm has proven to be a strong leader in practices which will transfer well to games to help this young group."; Outfield – Junior Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.), an honorable mention all-HCAC selection last season, is the lone returner and will patrol center field. Norris had robust numbers last spring hitting .333 with 13 doubles and 23 RBIs to go with 19 stolen bases. Several newcomers are in the mix at left and right field including sophomore transfer Chad Gindelberger (South Bend, Ind.), fellow sophomore transfer James Tarner (Vicksburg, Mich.), senior Ryne Lehrman (Hoagland, Ind.) who appeared in four games last season, junior Justin Miller (Yorktown, Ind.) who played in three games a year ago, and freshmen Dennis Brumfield (Columbus, Ind.), Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.), Austin Dantzer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Braydin Stell (Huntington, Ind.). "I feel like we have some good depth and options," Espeset said of the outfield. "It's good to have Norris as the leader in center field, too, with what he's capable of doing."; Catcher – Sophomore Elliott Ford (Rome City, Ind.) made the most of jumping into the starting role a year ago. He started in 22 of 29 appearances with a .241 batting average which included him coming on strong in the postseason, while his defense was sparkling, as he threw out eight of a possible 20 base runners. "We're expecting continued progression from Elliott," Espeset said. "He came up big for us during the stretch run a year ago offensively, while defensively, I think he's one of the better catchers in the conference." … "Overall, we're comfortable going into the season," Espeset said. "We have three of our top hitters back on offense with some potential showing with the newcomers, while the defense and pitching are showing good signs so far."

DePauw Series: MU is scheduled for a set with DePauw University Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, in Westfield, Ind.

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