NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Manchester University Spartans got off to a 2-0 start in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Tuesday afternoon after sweeping rival Anderson University at Gratz Field. The extra time off for the Spartans, MU was playing its first game in nine days, did not bother the squad as Manchester won by final scores of 6-5 and 14-2.
Game 1 – Manchester 6, Anderson 5 – Box Score
Manchester opened HCAC play with a 6-5 win in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader. The Ravens struck first on Tuesday afternoon as Joe Moran launched a two-run home run to left in the top of the 1st inning. Moran would also hit a solo home run in the 5th.
The Spartans quickly tied the game in the bottom of the 2nd following a two-run home run by Michael Pinarski (Goshen, Ind. / Goshen). Pinarski's home run was his first of the season.
Trailing 4-3 in the 6th, Manchester University loaded the bases and tied the game following an RBI groundout by Tyler LaFollette (Warsaw, Ind. / Warsaw). Two innings later, Manchester seized control of the game after Nick Rush (Terre Haute, Ind. / Terre Haute North) hit a go-ahead RBI double that put the Spartans ahead 5-4. Matt Pritz (LaPorte, Ind. / LaPorte) then drove in Rush from second with a base hit, giving the Spartans a two-run cushion. Rush and LaFollette both tallied two hits in the game one win against the Ravens. Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Wayne) also drove in a run for Manchester.
On the mound, starter Jordan Hilyard (Deactur, Ind. / Bellmont) struck out six batters in four innings of work. Craig Overpeck (Rockville, Ind. / Rockville) came in and got his first win of the season after tossing four innings of relief. In the 5th, Overpeck worked out of a no-out bases loaded jam without allowing a run that kept the Spartans in the game. Michael Pinarski pitched the top of the 9th and earned his second save of 2019.
Game 2 – Manchester 14, Anderson 2 – Box Score
Manchester completed the sweep of rival Anderson with a dominant 14-2 performance in game two on Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans matched a season high in runs scored (14) and hits (13). MU also reached those totals back against Manhattanville College on March 1 while down in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Already leading 1-0 in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind. / Muncie Central) launched a two-run home run to right to put the Spartans ahead 3-0. Gallatin's homer was his team-leading fourth home run this season. Manchester broke the game open after Nick Rush hit a three-run double to deep right center that increased the Spartans' lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the 4th. Rush set a new career-high and leads Manchester with 23 RBI this season.
Joe Henschel (Huntertown, Ind. / Carroll) connected on his first home run of 2019, a three-run shot to right in the bottom of the 6th that gave Manchester an 11-0 advantage. Michael Pinarski hit a two-run single to right center in the home half of the 7th inning. Hunter Freeman (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) would also drive in a run in the game two of Tuesday's doubleheader.
Freshman pitcher Austin Kresl (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) had another strong outing in route to his winning his third straight start. Kresl allowed just two hits in seven innings.
Manchester improved 7-13, 2-0 HCAC this season. Anderson fell to 8-8, 0-2 HCAC this season. Manchester added a game to its schedule and will head to Division-I Ball State tomorrow April 3 for a single game with the Cardinals. First pitch tomorrow in Muncie is set for 4:30 p.m.