TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Top-seeded Manchester used a six-run seventh inning on its way to a 12-3 win over Mount Union in the Mideast Regional Wednesday afternoon at Art Nehf Field in Terre Haute, Ind. The Spartans racked up 16 hits and turned three double plays in the convincing victory.
Corey Marchant drove in four runs for Manchester (36-5-1) by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a two-run home run. Bryce Murphy and Cody Schell each drove in two runs apiece to bolster the Spartan offense, while Austin Rieke went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Justin Scott earned the victory on the mound for MC, as he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings and scattered three hits, while fanning three Mount Union (24-16) hitters.
For the Purple Raiders, Ricky Olasz drove in two runs with a two-run single in the ninth, Scott Sherwood went 1-for-5 with an RBI and Connor Mathis finished 2-for-4. Zach Carlino was saddled with the loss for Mount Union, as he allowed six runs, all earned, on nine hits with a strikeout and four walks.
Manchester jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as the Spartans scored their three runs on three hits, including an RBI single by Trevor Kimm and a two-run double by Schell.
Manchester scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend its lead to 5-0. Rieke started the inning with an infield single to third, before moving into scoring position following a Bryce Murphy walk. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Brad Murphy, before scoring on Marchant’s double down the right field line.
Mount Union threatened in both the sixth and seventh frames, but had both potential rallies end on inning-ending double plays. In the sixth, the Raiders had runners at the corners with just one out, before Marchant turned a hard ground ball up the middle off the bat of Lee Grosscup into a 6-4-3 twin killing. With one out and the bases loaded in the seventh, Marchant once again extinguished Mount Union’s chances by making a bare-handed play to once again start a 6-4-3 double play on a ground ball by C.J. Stotler to keep the Raiders off the scoreboard.
The Spartans put the game away in the bottom of the seventh by erupting for six runs to build a 12-0 lead. Manchester started the inning with three-straight singles, before Bryce Murphy drove in two runners with a single through the left side, and Brad Murphy followed with a single to right to score another. The former Murphy was able to scamper home on a wild pitch to put the Spartans up, 10-0, before Marchant capped the inning with a towering two-run homer to left, making the score 12-0.
Mount Union was able to break up the shutout by scoring three runs in the ninth on RBI hits by Olasz and Sherwood, before Marchant turned yet another double play to end the game.
With the victory, Manchester advances to play No. 5 seed Washington & Jefferson tomorrow at 4:30 p.m., while Mount Union will try to stave off elimination, when it faces No. 4 seed Illinois Wesleyan at 10 a.m.
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