NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University received important components from both ends of the spectrum Sunday, March 30.
The Spartans' offense came up big in the nightcap against Bluffton University of Ohio with three doubles and three home runs helping lead the way to a 12-9 win. In the opener, it was the senior pitching duo of Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.) and Josh Copp (Shaprsville, Ind.) didn't surrender an earned run, allowed just seven hits and struck out 10 en route to a 5-3 victory.
MU (10-9 overall, 4-2 HCAC) broke up a 1-1 tie in game one with an RBI ground out from senior designated hitter Dan Maringer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and an error for a 3-1 lead. The home side continued to hold the advantage all the way up until the eighth when BU (7-11, 0-6 HCAC) tied it with a single run. The visitors appeared on the verge of taking the lead until junior shortstop Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) turned in a key shortstop-to-first base double play to end the frame. The Spartans regained the lead in the home half on an error and a RBI double from freshman first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.). Copp relieved Padgett after a sterling eight-inning appearance and struck out the side to earn his first save.
Game two saw Bluffton jump out to a pair of four-run leads in the first three innings. However, the Black and Gold offense answered by registering 10 runs over the third through seventh innings. That attack, coupled with freshman pitcher Mason Neuman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Copp holding BU to one earned run on six hits over the final five frames, turned out to be the difference.
Szarenski topped the offense during the afternoon going five-for-nine with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs. Junior outfielder Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.) added four hits and two doubles, while Maringer recorded three RBIs.
MU puts its three-game league win string on the line Tuesday, April 1, at Anderson University. First pitch is 4:15 p.m.
NOTES: Szarenski increased his on-base and hitting streaks to eight games … Copp hasn't been touched for a run in his last three appearances which is a span of seven innings. He's struck out nine in the same stretch … MU ran its win streak in the series against Bluffton to 11 straight.