Kopplin gem sends Spartans to sweep

Kopplin gem sends Spartans to sweep

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Manchester University parlayed a 13-hit attack with more strong starting pitching Sunday, March 11.

The Spartans, improving to 6-3 overall with their fourth straight triumph, concluded a weekend sweep of North Coast Athletic Conference in-state foe DePauw University with an 8-3 decision at Bishop Chatard High School. A four-run fourth inning rally proved key, allowing Coach Rick Espeset's squad a 6-0 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Senior Taylor Kopplin (Westport, Ind.) followed suit with his Class of 2018 teammates on the mound. After Stephen Pinarski (Goshen, Ind.) and Brandon Eck (Fort Wayne, Ind.) gained pitching wins March 10, Kopplin went the distance, striking out seven and giving up just the three earned runs on nine hits. The program's second complete-game outing in the past four contests helped the staff ERA continue to tumble to a season-low 5.64, as the Black and Gold have allowed only eight earned runs in the last 34 innings.

MU's offense had multiple heroes in the series finale. Sophomore first baseman Nick Rush (Terre Haute, Ind.) finished four-for-four with a pair of doubles and two RBI; senior third baseman Hunter Lane (Nappanee, Ind.) and senior left fielder Eric Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) added multiple-hit outings with two each; and junior shortstop Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) ended with a pair of RBI.

The Spartans open their 2018 home season Saturday, March 17, beginning a three-game weekend set between the HCAC and Ohio Athletic Conference. A pair of nine-inning match-ups begins at 1 p.m. at Gratz Field.

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