Story By Kody Smith–The Manchester High School baseball team erupted for 10 hits on Monday, April 30, resulting in an 11-run outburst to lift the Squires to an 11-6 victory over the Tippecanoe Valley Vikings. Manchester batted around its lineup twice in the contest, and provided two solid outings on the hill to accompany the offensive onslaught.
The Squires fell to an early 1-0 deficit in the top of the first inning, but the team did not take long to answer right back with a run in the bottom of the first. Junior starting pitcher Grant Strobel led off the inning with a walk and a stolen base. Fellow junior Mason Meyer brought him in to score to nod things up at one run a piece.
After a one, two, three top of the second inning on the hill from Strobel, the Squires exploded on the offensive side, tallying six runs in the bottom of the frame. Following an error and two hit-batsmen, the bases were juiced for senior second baseman Braydin Lassiter. Lassiter laid down a beautiful bunt with the runners in motion, scoring junior Kaleb Fluke. Lassiter reached first safely and no other runners were thrown out, keeping the bases full of Squires. Strobel helped his own cause with a two-run double, followed by another two-run double off-the-bat of Meyer. Along with Meyer’s three-RBI evening, the junior also scored a run on a base knock off-the-bat of senior first baseman Jeremiah Airgood. At the conclusion of the second inning, the Squires held a commanding 7-1 lead.
The Vikings struck for four runs in the top of the third inning, as Strobel garnered just one earned run following three errors in the field by the Manchester defense. However, the Squires would tack on four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning, batting around in the order for the second time in the TRC game. Senior shortstop Hayes Sturtsman ripped a double into the left-center field gap, scoring on an Airgood RBI-single. Lassiter would drive in his second run of the night, followed by an RBI-single by Strobel, giving Manchester an 11-5 lead after five innings of play.
Strobel worked six innings on the bump for the Squires, hurling well over 100 pitches to cap off his performance. He allowed just six hits and struck out nine Vikings, surrendering just three earned runs on the bump to record the win. In the seventh inning, Sturtsman relieved Strobel to shut the door on the contest. Sturtsman allowed just one hit in the final inning of play, striking out the side otherwise, recording three punch-outs to conclude the game. The Squires took the victory by a final score of 11-6.
The Squires are now 4-5 overall during the 2018 season, and are now 3-1 in the Three Rivers Conference. The baseball squad is back in action on Wednesday, May 2, as the Squires host the Southwood Knights to continue an eight-game home stand.