MU opens Earlham series with sweep
RICHMOND, IND. – Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference leader Manchester University received sterling outings from both ends of the spectrum Saturday, April 26.
In the opener, it was the offense that helped lift the Spartans to a 13-8 win at Earlham College's Randal R. Sadler Field. After the two sides each held in the advantage in the first five frames, MU turned up the heat, plating five runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh to hold a 12-4 lead. Earlham attempted to battle back with a four-run rally in the eighth but couldn't get any closer.
Extra base hits keyed both rallies. Junior outfielder Kyle Norris (Indianapolis, Ind.) highlighted the sixth with a two-run double, while junior shortstop Trevor Kimm (Anderson, Ind.) unloaded the bases in the seventh with a grand slam, his eighth round tripper of the season. The late-innings roll was more than enough for senior starting pitcher Temujin Sery (Fort Wayne, Ind.) who moved to 6-0 with six innings of five-strikeout ball.
The nightcap was a good old-fashioned pitchers' duel between Black and Gold senior Dylan Padgett (Kirklin, Ind.) and the Quakers' Matt Brankle. Padgett, improving to 5-2 and dropping his season earned run average to 2.40 behind a combined shutout with fellow senior Josh Copp (Sharpsville, Ind.), struck out four and surrendered just six hits over eight innings. Brankle was just as tough on the MU offense striking out three and surrendering just three hits over eight innings.
Manchester University's offense was able to strike against Brankle in its final at-bat. In the ninth, sophomore third baseman Sean Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) and Norris were free-passed to first and second with walks, and senior Dan Maringer (Fort Wayne, Ind.) drilled a single to score Knepper. Copp came out of the bullpen and induced a pop up and struck out two EC hitters to conclude the sweep for his fifth save.
MU (23-11 overall, 17-4 HCAC) concludes its weekend set with Earlham Sunday, April 27. First pitch is 12 p.m.