NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – The beginning of a critical Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference home stand couldn't have been scripted much better for Manchester University Saturday, April 29.
The Spartans, locked in a tight chase for the league's four slots for the postseason tournament and also still factoring into the regular season championship, limited a potent Rose-Hulman offense to just two runs and eight hits due to the crafty pitching of junior Brandon Eck (Fort Wayne, Ind.). The right-hander, moving over the .500 mark (4-3), struck out six and wasn't nicked for an earned run over the first eight innings. Freshman relief pitcher Craig Overpeck (Rockville, Ind.) wrapped up the 7-2 victory, working through the ninth inning.
Manchester University's offense gave the duo plenty of support. Sophomore shortstop Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind.), senior first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.) and senior center fielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) each tallied two hits, while freshman designated hitter Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind.) drove in two scores.
The weekend set's second contest saw the Spartans (16-18 overall, 13-8 HCAC) rally from an early 3-1 deficit to hold a 9-3 lead in the eighth. The Fightin' Engineers posted four runs in the eighth to make it 9-7 before darkness forced suspension.
The two diamond rivals return to Gratz Field Sunday, April 30, to conclude the suspended game and match-up for the series finale. Game time is 12 p.m.