Baseball Report (Week 9) - Manchester Clinches Share of HCAC Crown with Sweep of Bluffton
GREENWOOD, IN - Manchester University clinched a share of the HCAC title with a three game sweep of Bluffton over the weekend. The Spartans (28-5-1, 18-3 HCAC) have won five straight and currently hold a four game lead over Anderson with four games remaining.
Manchester was dominate against Bluffton (19-17, 10-11 HCAC), outscoring the Beavers 36-6 during the three game series.
Junior third baseman Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind./H.S.) led the Spartans offense during the week, finishing 6-for-14 (.429) at the plate with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, and six RBI.
Nieman had a slugging percentage of 1.143 during the stretch and increased his current hit streak to 11 games.
On the mound, senior Kyle Konarski (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) fired seven shutout innings in the 12-0 win Saturday. Konarski allowed only two Beaver runners to reach second base during his outing, while striking out six batters.
Konarski now stands 8-0 on the season and currently boasts a 1.86 ERA.
No. 15 ranked Manchester will close the regular season schedule against Defiance and Mount St. Joseph this week.
In other HCAC action...
Anderson (21-16, 15-7 HCAC) remained in the hunt for a share of a league title after finishing the week with a 3-1 mark. The Ravens beat Rose-Hulman 4-1 on Sunday and earned a 2-1 series win over Mount St. Joseph (8-24, 4-16 HCAC). Junior pitcher Nolan Schaefer (Marshall, Ill./H.S.) allowed only one hit in the win over Rose-Hulman Sunday. The junior tossed a one-hitter over seven innings against the Engineers, finishing with three strikeouts, zero runs allowed, and the win. Anderson can clinch a spot in the upcoming HCAC tournament with a single win over Franklin this weekend.
Rose-Hulman (14-20, 11-9 HCAC) earned an important series win over Defiance (18-12, 11-9 HCAC) this weekend and now holds the tiebreaker with the Jackets in the race for a tournament berth. Junior Hank Akard (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) led the Rose-Hulman offense with a 8-for-20 (.400) performance last week. Akard had six runs scored, one double, a .450 slugging percentage, and a .500 on base percentage. A three-game sweep of Earlham will lock up a bid to the HCAC tournament for RHIT.
Franklin (19-17, 11-10 HCAC) walked away with an important series win over Transylvania (18-16, 11-10 HCAC) this weekend. The Grizzlies swept the Saturday doubleheader before dropping a 6-3 decision on Sunday. Senior shortstop Nick Stoia (Indianapolis, Ind./ Decatur Central) had a record breaking day for the Grizzlies on Sunday breaking the all-time career record for hits (222). Stoia broke the previous record of 220 in the bottom of the sixth inning on a home run.
Earlham (9-27, 5-16 HCAC) posted its first HCAC series win of the season, taking two out of three from Hanover (15-19, 8-13 HCAC). Senior outfielder Sam Ward (Bay Village, Ohio/Bay) led the Quakers offense against the Panthers, going 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, triple, and two RBI.
For a complete recap of Week 9 in HCAC Baseball, click here