TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Manchester University moved on in the winner’s bracket of the Mideast Regional with a 4-2 victory over Washington & Jefferson Thursday night at Art Nehf Field in Terre Haute, Ind. The Spartans prevailed in a pitcher’s duel by overcoming an early 2-0 deficit by scoring two runs in the third and two more in the fifth.
Corey Marchant was the only Manchester (37-5-1) hitter to record multiple hits, as the shortstop went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored a pair of runs. Trevor Kimm and Kyle Norris each finished 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Jordan Niemann accounted for the final RBI for the Spartans.
Kyle Konarski improved to a perfect 10-0 on the mound by allowing two runs on six hits in 5.0 innings of work. Konarski also struck out two and walked three. Bryce Murphy, who started the game in right field, earned his 11th save of the season by tossing the final 4.0 innings. Murphy gave up just two hits over the final four frames, while issuing a walk and notching a strikeout.
Scott Liller and Kyle McLain led Washington & Jefferson (31-12) offensively, as Liller went 2-for-5 with an RBI and McLain drove in a run by going 2-for-4 with a walk. Brian O’Neill fell to 6-3 on the year, as he was saddled with the pitching loss, after allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits in 5.0 innings of work. Jared Baird allowed just one hit for the Presidents in his 4.0 innings of relief.
Washington & Jefferson grabbed an early lead, as the Presidents were able to put single runs on the board in both the first and second innings. McLain drove in the first run of the ballgame by reaching on a fielder’s choice in the first and Liller doubled the Washington & Jefferson advantage by reaching on a throwing error that allowed Derek McIlvaine to score.
However, Manchester’s pitching would shut down the President’s bats for the rest of the contest, as the Spartans were able to tie the game in the top of the third, when Cody Schell drew a bases-loaded walk and Norris scored Brad Murphy with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Spartans took the lead for good in the top of the fifth, scoring a pair of runs to go up, 4-2. Brad Murphy started the inning with a walk, before Marchant followed with a single and both runners were able to move up on an error. Jordan Niemann gave Manchester the lead with a sacrifice fly center and Kimm added an insurance run with yet another sacrifice fly that allowed Marchant to tag and score from third.
Bryce Murphy came on in relief of Konarski to start the bottom half of the sixth and shut down Washington & Jefferson the rest of the way to secure the victory for the Spartans, as the Presidents stranded 14 runners on the base paths in the contest, including two each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Manchester will now move on to play the winner of the Marietta/Thomas More matchup tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m., while Washington & Jefferson will play an elimination game against Wooster tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
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