St. Mary’s slips past Manchester University
NOTRE DAME, IND. – Junior pitcher Madisyn Walter (Hanna, Ind.) kept home side St. Mary’s College of Indiana’s bats silent for five innings in game one of a non-conference double-dip Tuesday, March 28, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a pair of victories by the Belles.
Walter was nicked for a two-out single in the first but was difficult to solve from that point as Manchester University built a 2-0 edge with single runs in the first and fifth frames. SMC strung together three straight singles in the sixth to make it 2-1 and tied it on an RBI ground out. The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association members finished the comeback in the seventh using a walk, single and sacrifice bunt to put the eventual winning score on third where it crossed home plate due to a sacrifice fly for the 3-2 final.
The offensive leaders in game one for Coach Josh Dzurick’s crew were freshman first baseman Shakira Perez (Elkhart, Ind.) and sophomore third baseman Kate Skeens (Gas City, Ind.) who tallied two hits each and senior left fielder Emilee Liston (Cicero, Ind.) who drove in both scores. The nightcap was a different story at St. Mary’s pitchers Jessica Alberts and Zoe Bruni kept the Black and Gold bats quiet to the tune of only one run on three hits, while the Belles’ offense rattled eight runs on 13 hits to wrap up the sweep.
Dzurick’s crew, sporting a 7-11-1 record, is scheduled to return home Thursday, March 30. Fellow MIAA school Alma College is their opponent for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader at Spartan Field.
Spartans forge conference road split
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.