Weekend series win keeps Spartans close to HCAC leaders

Weekend series win keeps Spartans close to HCAC leaders

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Standout pitching starts from junior Brandon Eck (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and senior Cory Ferguson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) helped spotlight two of three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference decisions over Transylvania University Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23.

Eck, evening his season mark at 3-3, turned in a workmanlike effort, going seven frames during the opener in which he gave up just two earned runs and struck out six. Coach Rick Espeset's offense got behind him with a pair of six-run rallies in the seventh and eighth in route to a 16-6 win. After the visiting Pioneers extinguished a chance at a sweep with a late-inning rally to win game two 6-4, Ferguson was masterful in Sunday's finale, punching out six while giving up only one earned run on two hits while shutting out the visitors over six innings of his seven-inning stint. As TU attempted to come back, getting a two-run home run in the seventh to cut a 5-0 lead to 5-2, the Black and Gold's offense went to work in the eighth with a 10-run blitzkrieg that led to a 15-5 win in front of a happy Gratz Field crowd.

Offensive heroes were many for Manchester University. Nine players tallied three-or-more hits led by senior center fielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) and freshman catcher/designated hitter Joe Gallatin (Muncie, Ind.) who tallied six safeties each which included two doubles and four RBI for each. The left side of the infield ended with five hits apiece, as sophomore Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and freshman third baseman Brandin Frazier (Wabash, Ind.) picked up five hits apiece.

The Spartans (15-16, 12-7 HCAC), sitting third on the league standings only a game behind second place Earlham College and game and a half in back of leading Rose-Hulman, concludes its midweek loop set against Defiance College Tuesday, April 25. First pitch is 4:15 p.m. at DC's Craig Rutter Field.

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