Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 7, 2017

Baseball 2

Baseball in Full Swing 

Tanner Edge

Manchester University’s baseball team has been in an uphill battle heading into conference play this season. With a young team, having only eight seniors out of their 51-man roster, the Spartans are trying to find themselves before making a push for the playoffs. Sitting at 7-13 overall and 4-4 in the conference, Manchester is in a prime position to strike a playoff push by winning most of their upcoming games. 

The Spartans senior center fielder Chad Schultz has high hopes for this season. He prides himself on doing whatever he can to help the team win. “Personally I would like to hit at least a .300 batting average,” he said. “I had a goal of making no errors this year, but I’ve already made one. I just want to do what I can to help the team win no matter what it is.”

Digging deeper into team goals is key for the Spartan senior. “I would say the focus is to just improve every day,” Schultz said. Understanding that he is a leader on the team is something he hasn’t taken lightly. The team has five more weekend series’ and four Tuesday conference games left this season. “We are young all over with new guys playing big roles early in their careers,” Schultz said. “We need to get more comfortable with each player’s role, and I believe that we have improved already. Now that conference games have started, our main goal is to win conference and make the conference tourney and see what happens from there.”

Junior pitcher Taylor Kopplin recalled some of the baseball team’s glory days with high hopes of getting back to those moments soon. “Our goal every year is to win the HCAC,” he said. “By winning the regular season, we would then host the HCAC tournament.” If this win happens, it would give the Manchester Spartans an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. “Manchester baseball has had a lot of success in the near past, going to the World series in 2004 and 2013,” Kopplin added. “We are just working to continue that tradition of success and do our best to get a shot to go back to the world series.”

The Spartans start their first weekend conference matchup against Earlham College. After that, it will be a blur of conference games to round out the regular season before the HCAC conference tournament hits off.