DEFIANCE, OHIO – Sophomore right-handed starting pitcher John Magers (Noblesville, Ind.) produced his second successive sterling effort Tuesday, March 28, leading Manchester University at Defiance College's Craig A. Rutter Field.
Magers, nearly untouchable by opposing bats in his last three outings, kept the Yellow Jackets offense at bay in game one of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic doubleheader. Working around three doubles and a pair of walks he issued, the sophomore went five and two-thirds innings, striking out four and being nicked for just one earned run on five hits. Senior Cory Ferguson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) came out of the bullpen and was just as difficult for the home side to solve, going the final three and a third without allowing a run and being touched for just two hits to lock down a 5-1 Spartans' win.
On the offensive side, Coach Rick Espeset crew proved efficient with the five tallies crossing due to five safeties of which four drove in runs. An underclassman quartet featuring freshman designated hitter Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind.); sophomore catcher Matt Pritz (LaPorte, Ind.); freshman third baseman Brandin Frazier (Wabash, Ind.); and sophomore shortstop Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) each accounted for an RBI each.
The nightcap saw Defiance open a 6-2 lead after eight innings. The Black and Gold nearly turned the tables for a sweep, as senior center fielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) doubled in a score, and Gallatin continued his red-hot hitting with a two-run single to cut the lead to 6-5. Manchester University appeared on the verge of more with two on and one out, but a pop up and strikeout led DC to the loop split. Three Spartans registered multiple-hit outings in game two as part of a 12-safety attack, as senior designated hitter Lucas Gramman (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) went three-for-five and senior first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.) and junior left fielder Erick Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) added two hits apiece.
Manchester University (5-11 overall, 2-3 HCAC) resumes a five-game road swing Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, at Bluffton University.