Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 9, 2018

Baseball marketing

Taylor Kopplin pitches during a game in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. During their collegiate careers, senior pitchers Brandon Eck, Taylor Kopplin and Stephen Pinarski have a combined total of 27 winning games. 

Photo provided 

Spartans Open Season with 3-3 Trip to Myrtle Beach 

Kody Smith   

The Manchester University baseball squad began its 2018 campaign with a three -day road trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Spartans played six games over the three-day period, picking up three wins and three losses to conclude the early spring trip.

MU traveled over 12 hours on Wednesday, February 28, in order to meet York College of Pennsylvania and John Jay of New York on Thursday, March 1. The Spartans would kick-off the 2018 regular season with an 8-6 loss at the hands of the York College Spartans, where a big four-run second inning fueled the squad from New York. Sophomores Joe Gallatin and Quinton Rumsey paced the six-run offensive effort, each tallying a double and two RBI’s to lead the Spartans. Senior Taylor Kopplin opened the season on the hill for Manchester, pitching six innings while allowing five earned runs and seven strikeouts during the contest.

The Spartans would bounce back from the loss with a victory over the John Jay Bloodhounds, with a final score of 10-8. The offensive showcase was highlighted by a five-run third inning, as well as a four-run sixth inning for Manchester. Sophomore Nick Rush performed perfectly at the plate, going 4-4 with three RBI’s. Senior Hunter Lane added two doubles to contribute to a 3-5 night, which also included a pair of RBI’s, while freshman Hunter Freeman added two RBI’s following a 2-4 effort from at the plate. Junior Braxton Riley powered his way to a 2-5 performance, which included a solo homerun, the first homerun of the season for MU. Senior Brandon Eck was victorious on the mound, pitching 7 and 1/3 innings with four punch-outs.

The offensive barrage continued on Friday, March 2 as the Bloodhounds and the Spartans met for their second contest of the weekend, with the black-and-gold powering their way to a 17-10 victory. Rush put in another stellar performance, crushing his first homerun of the year in route to a 3-6 day with five RBI’s. Riley went yard again, contributing to a 4-6 day with three runs scored and two batted in. Junior Christian Smith added two runs scored and three hits to the Spartan victory. Junior Tyler Lafollette, senior Alec Trzeciak, and freshman Joe Henschel all went yard in-route to a five-homerun performance for MU. The bats continued to shine as the Spartans met Lehman College, but the Lightning struck for 23 runs as they burst their way to a 23-10 victory over Manchester to conclude Friday’s contests.

MU would wrap-up the South Carolina trip with a double-header against the Blue Devils of Fredonia, the State University of New York. The two teams would split the series, with the Blue Devils securing game number one 8-1 in an eight-inning contest, and the Spartans winning game number two 12-1 after only seven innings played. Manchester tallied eleven hits in the 9-8 loss, which was led by a 3-4 outing at the plate from Lafollette, which included a double and three runs batted in. Freshman Nick Tillman added a pair of RBI’s to contribute to the eight-run effort. Game two was led by a masterful effort on the mound by junior Jordan Hilyard. The right-hander threw seven terrific innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits while striking out three Blue Devil batters. Henschel saw one at-bat in the contest, and he made the most of the opportunity, slugging a three-run homerun to lead the RBI category for his squad. Hunter Lane went 2-for-5 in the contest with a triple, a double, and two runs batted in as well. Lafollette, Riley, and freshman Hunter Seegers each added a pair of RBI’s as well.

Manchester will take the field again on March 10 and 11, as the Spartans will travel to Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis to meet a tough DePauw University team. A double-header will take place on Saturday, March 10 beginning at 12:00 P.M. with game two to follow. Game three will be played on Sunday, March 11, with a first-pitch time slated for 12:00 p.m.