NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Manchester University Spartans split their final Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader of the 2019 regular season on Saturday afternoon against Earlham College. Manchester battled to a 5-2 win in game one. The Quakers responded with strong pitching to seize a win in game two 3-0.
With the split, the Spartans finish HCAC play with a record of 8-9. Manchester will now need some help on Sunday afternoon to clinch a conference tournament berth. Anderson, Transylvania, and Defiance are the three other teams fighting for playoff contention on the final day of the 2019 regular season.
Game 1 – Manchester 5, Earlham 2
Freshman pitcher Austin Kresl (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) tossed seven shutout innings of three-hit ball to power the Spartans to a game one win. Kresl struck out four Quakers and won his team-leading sixth game of 2019.
The Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to start the game. Nick Rush (Terre Haute, Ind. / Terre Haute North) opened the scoring with an RBI single to right. Matt Pritz (LaPorte, Ind. / LaPorte) followed with an RBI single. Joe Henschel (Huntertown, Ind. / Carroll) drove in the third and final run of the inning with a base hit to center.
The Spartans extended their lead in the fifth inning. Joe Henschel delivered a clutch, two-run single to extend MU’s advantage to 5-0.
Manchester totaled 10 hits in game one. Henschel, Rush, and Braxton Riley (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Wayne) all had two hits apiece.
Game 2 – Earlham 3, Manchester 0
Earlham starting pitcher Joey Gerbus threw a complete game shutout to help the Quakers earn a split against Manchester as EC took game two by a 3-0 final score. Gerbus allowed just four hits and struck out seven as he went the distance on 107 pitches.
Earlham scored single runs in the fourth, fifth, and eighth innings.
Manchester starter Jordan Hilyard (Decatur, Ind. / Bellmont) threw five innings and allowed five hits. He allowed two runs – one earned. Michael Pinarski (Goshen, Ind. / Goshen) pitched five innings of relief and allowed two hits and just one run.
The Spartans finished the regular season with a record of 14-23, 8-9 HCAC. Earlham College concluded the year 16-21, 8-10 HCAC.