Non-conference and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foes pay visits to Gratz Field Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10 and 11.
Game details: Manchester University (13-11 overall, 3-3 HCAC) welcomes the Warriors of Indiana Tech for a 4:15 p.m. contest Tuesday and the Beavers of Bluffton University for a pair of games Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m. … Live audio, stats, and video are available for the Indiana Tech date with live statistics accessible for the Bluffton doubleheader via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics.
Spartan Shorts: A month that features 17 contests for the Black and Gold picked up steam success-wise April 8 … A fourth career complete-game shutout and first since 2016 for senior Brandon Eck (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was just what the proverbial doctor ordered to begin a pair of showdowns with perennial HCAC standout Rose-Hulman. In control from the first pitch, the right-hander carved up the visiting Fightin' Engineers with a 97-pitch masterpiece in front of nearly 100 fans at Gratz Field. He was nicked for only five hits, all singles, struck out four and issued just two free passes in a speedy 1:35-minute 4-0 triumph. MU's offense got just enough of a measure off Rose-Hulman sophomore southpaw Luke Buehler. Sophomore designated hitter Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind.) doubled off the fence in left-center in the home first and took another base on a bobble by Rose-Hulman's defense. He was chased home by a run-scoring groundout by junior outfielder Tyler LaFollette (Warsaw, Ind.) for a quick 1-0 edge, It stayed that way until the sixth when senior outfielder Eric Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) singled up the middle to plate a score, and junior catcher Matt Pritz (LaPorte, Ind.) roped a double into the right-center field gap for another run. Pritz came back for a second run-batted-in in the eighth to secure the final. Fellow senior hurler Taylor Kopplin (Westport, Ind.) endeavored to extend the Fightin' Engineers' scoreboard goose eggs further in game two. Fueled by his battery mate's third and fourth runs-batted-in of the afternoon in the first inning followed by a nifty run-scoring bunt from junior outfielder Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) in the second, he was staked to a quick 3-0 lead. Sophomore infielder Nick Rush (Terre Haute, Ind.) added an insurance run in the sixth, blasting a pitch to the roof of the Burt Field pressbox. Meanwhile, Kopplin was in cruise control over the first six frames, giving up only three hits. The visitors broke through in the seventh and eighth with a combined three runs. The senior wrapped his fourth victory replete with six strikeouts, as junior John Magers (Noblesville, Ind.) shut the door in the ninth for his second save in a 4-3 decision … LaFollette enters the week harboring a string of 11 consecutive games in which he's reached base. Other impressive trends for the Spartans are LaFollette and senior infielder Hunter Lane (Nappanee, Ind.) each registering 10-or-more multiple-hit outings and Pritz totaling six games with multiple RBI. The team's hitting streak leader is Lane who put together one of 10 straight games earlier this season.
Weekend Ahead: MU wraps up a seven-game home stretch Saturday, April 14, as Franklin College takes the northern trek to North Manchester.