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.