MU
Oak Leaves

May 11, 2018

PinarskiAOTW5818


Senior Stephen Pinarski had a 10-strikeout performance during the game at Earlham College's Randal R. Sadler Field, ensuring the team a spot in the 2018 postseason tournament.

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Pinarski Dominates as MU Clinches HCAC Tourney Berth


Kody Smith


The Manchester University baseball team was in desperate need of a win on Sunday, May 6, as the Spartans traveled to Earlham College for a crucial matchup with the Quakers. What was on the line in the contest? A date with the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, and the Spartans turned to two senior right-handers to take the mound.

Senior Stephen Pinarski gave the performance of his life in the HCAC game, as the right-hander dealt 10 strikeouts over eight shutout innings of work. Although Earlham had won 23 games over the course of the 2018 campaign, Pinarski allowed just five hits to conclude the eight-inning dominance of the Quakers. Senior Brandon Eck was called upon to close out the contest, as the right-handed hurler did not allow a hit in the ninth inning. Eck recorded his third save of the season in a game that sent Manchester to the HCAC tournament.

The pitching duo of Eck and Pinarski needed only one run to secure the victory, but the Spartan offense delivered three runs to take the 3-0 victory. Sophomore Joe Gallatin tacked on his team leading 22nd RBI of the season in the fourth inning, as the designated hitter brought junior Christian Smith to the plate with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. The Spartans held the 1-0 lead early and did not look back from there.

In the top of the seventh frame, senior Alec Trzeciak ripped a double down the right field line, scoring junior Tyler LaFollette. LaFollette contributed to the third run scored by the Spartans in the top of the eighth inning as well, as the right fielder hit a sacrifice fly, plating Smith for the second time in the contest.

With the victory, Manchester secured the fourth seed in the HCAC tournament. Coach Espeset looked to continue Manchester’s rich baseball history with another HCAC title, as the Spartans matched up with the Bluffton Beavers to open up the postseason conference tournament on Thursday, May 10.