TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Anderson University extended their season by at least one more game with a 2-1 victory over Manchester College in the first game of the championship round in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.
Drew Brantley led the Ravens offense with three hits and one run. Aaron Rodgers added two hits, and Ronnie Crouch added a run.
Jake Eaton earned his third win of the season, throwing three strikeouts in the process.
Manchester featured four players with two hits. Pitcher Dylan Padgett tossed seven strikeouts and allowed no earned runs for the complete game appearance.
Anderson took advantage of an error by the Manchester defense to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Brantley singled to left center with two outs and advanced to second on a single by Crouch. Brantley then scored when Manchester misplayed a ball in the infield. Crouch then scored when while Kyle Beckman was caught in a rundown, scoring just before Beckman was tagged out.
Manchester chipped away with a run in the seventh inning when Bryce Murphy scored on a foul out sacrifice fly by Jordan Nieman.
The Spartans tried to take a lead in their fourth inning, but was thrown out by at home by Anderson's centerfielder Jacob Craft.
In the ninth inning, the Spartans were threatening to tie the game. Austin Rieke walked to represent the tying run, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bryce Murphy. Cory Marchant singled on a ball deflected off the Anderson pitcher. Rounding third, Rieke slipped and was eventually caught in a rundown for the third out, sending the teams into a second game for the conference championship.
Anderson improved to 28-16 while Manchester fell to 24-19. The winner of the second game with be crowned HCAC Baseball Tournament Champions and will represent the league in the NCAA Tournament.