Spartans place eight on all-HCAC squads

A trio consisting of junior first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.), junior outfielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) and senior shortstop Sean Knepper (Bremen, Ind.) topped honors for Manchester University on the 2016 all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason awards, released May 16.

Each of the Spartans was placed on the first team. It was Schultz’ first such accolade, while Szarenski is a three-time honoree, and Knepper has been noted twice on the top squad.

Szarenski concluded the 2016 season as the program leader in batting average (.360) and hits (59) and was one of only four Manchester University players to appear and start in all 41 games. He currently has the third-highest batting average and is among the top 10 in RBI (34) and home runs (four) in the league. Szarenski also registered a sparkling .992 fielding percentage in 383 chances with only three errors and ended his junior year with 20 multiple-hit and nine multiple-RBI contests and a double-digit game hit streak (11) during the campaign.

Schultz had a breakout season due to 35 RBI which ranked sixth-best in the HCAC and was first for MU. He was also atop the team charts with 17 doubles and two triples while hitting .331 in 41 starts and games played. Schultz proved to be a very strong defensive addition for the Black and Gold, too, turning in a .983 fielding percentage with only two errors in 117 chances.

Knepper was the team offensive leader in four categories – slugging percentage (.581); runs scored (35); on-base percentage (.431); and total bases (90). The senior also ranked within the HCAC’s top five in batting average and home runs (six). Knepper produced 14 multiple-hit and seven multiple-RBI contests and had a 36-game on-base streak in tow at one point during 2016.

Manchester University had senior catcher Elliott Ford (Rome City, Ind.), gaining his second combined first or second team recognition, and freshman outfielder Tyler LaFollette (Warsaw, Ind.) named to the second team. Sophomore pitchers Brandon Eck (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Taylor Kopplin (Westport, Ind.) joined junior infielder Cory Ferguson (Fort Wayne, Ind.) on the honorable mention list, while Szarenski was the squad’s Sportsmanship team selection.

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