coach espeset photo
Baseball Coach Rick Espeset gained the 600th win of his coaching career at Manchester University on April 14.
Photo by Bridget Nash

Coach Espeset Takes Home 600th Win of Coaching Career at Manchester

Alexandria Collins

During a mid-week game on Wednesday, April 14, Manchester’s head baseball coach Rick Espeset took home his 600th win as a Spartan. The baseball team went head-to-head with Earlham College, defeating the Quakers 9-7.

The 600th win felt good. “I am grateful for the opportunity Manchester has provided me over the years,” Espeset said. “Milestones are just a mark in time.”

The first game of the day for the 600th win, Manchester took an opportunity for runs in the first few innings of the game. The Black and Gold ran in four Spartans in the bottom of the 3rd inning, then took an 8-1 lead in the 4th after scoring four more runs. Adding to that, Jacob Van Pelt (Parker City, Ind./Delta) hit a homer towards the end of the game.

Espeset has been having a lot of fun this year and is staying positive despite the Coronavirus. “I have really enjoyed this season and the group of guys I work with is great,” he said. “Everyone works hard, laughs and all enjoys being around each other.”

Indeed, he has had a celebrated career at Manchester University for the Spartans; Espeset is a six-time Coach of the Year honoree for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference; he has taken the Black and Gold to the HCAC tournament with six titles; he’s led the way to five HCAC Regular Season championships and added two NCAA Division lll College World Series to his victories.

What’s his background in baseball? “It was pretty typical,” Espeset said. “I started playing when I was young and played throughout college (Gustavus Adolphus College). My father started coaching youth baseball when I was in little league, and we spent a lot of time learning the game together.”

Coach added that his father was a great mentor.

“Winning my 600th baseball game simply means I have been around a long time and have worked with a lot of great assistant coaches and student athletes,” he said. This is his 25th year as Black and Gold’s head coach.

The baseball team is 19-20 on the 2021 spring season, with conference play this upcoming weekend, May 14, and 15 at Earlham College.