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April 8, 2014

Offense sends Spartans past Defiance

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Fueled by sparkling numbers from the top of its order Tuesday, April 8, Manchester University kept its current roll in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play going.

The Black and Gold, improving to 15-9 overall and 9-2 atop the league, had four players end up with multiple-hit contests as part of a 19-hit attack as part of a 19-9 win over Defiance College of Ohio. MU broke open its eighth straight victory by scoring 16 runs over the second through sixth frames.

Junior shortstop Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) and sophomore third baseman Sean Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) played their kick-start roles for the offense well throughout. Kimm finished five-for-six with five RBIs and three runs scored, while Knepper added two doubles as part of a four-hit, two-run scored and three RBI effort. Senior designated hitter Dan Maringer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and senior right fielder Ryne Lehrman (Hoagland, Ind.) added to the multiple-hit story, as Maringer was two-for-four with three RBIs, and Lehrman clouted a home run as part of a two-hit, three-run scored and four-RBI contest.

Defiance (7-16, 1-10 HCAC) jumped out to a 1-0 lead through an inning and a half. However, the Spartans gave its home crowd plenty to cheer about with its second-through-sixth-inning outburst. When the smoke cleared, MU held a 16-5 advantage.

Freshman pitcher Cory Ferguson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was the beneficiary of the offense's attack. He went six innings, surrendering seven hits and four earned runs while striking out three.

Manchester University continues league play with a key weekend trip to Franklin College Friday and Saturday, April 11 and 12. The Black and Gold and Grizzlies played a single, nine-inning game at 4 p.m. Friday and two nine-inning contests Saturday at 12 p.m.

NOTES: MU's 19-run attack equaled a pair of similar scoring marks for the 2013 squad against Defiance and the College of Mt. St. Joseph for top run totals in a game in recent history … It was the squad's fifth double-figure run total this season … The Black and Gold's offense resumed a strong recent roll, compiling double-digit hits for the fifth time in the last eight contests. It's helped guide the team to its first .300-plus team batting average since mid-March (.301) … Kimm's five-hit game was the first such for a Manchester University player since David Tatham turned in five safeties against Earlham in 2011.