May 17, 2013

Top-seeded Manchester drops Marietta into Mideast Regional loser's bracket

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Top-seeded Manchester University knocked Marietta College into the loser's bracket of the 2013 NCAA Mideast Regional with a 10-5 victory Friday (May 17) evening at Art Nehf Field on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. 

"Manchester was a better team today," Marietta head coach Brain Brewer said. "We have to put this game behind us and get ready for tomorrow. Our guys have been in this position before and know the challenge ahead of them."

The Pioneers will have two win two games on Saturday and another on Sunday to earn a return trip to Appleton, Wis. and the Division III World Series. Marietta will play at noon on Saturday against the winner of the Washington and Jefferson vs. Thomas More game Friday night. 

The Spartans entered today's game having won 14 in a row and 24 of their last 26 games. Manchester jumped on Marietta starter Evan Brockmeier right from the start.

Bryce Murphy led off with a double to left center. Brad Murphy and Corey Marchant followed with singles. Marchant's base hit plated Bryce Murphy for a 1-0 Spartan lead. 

Brockmeier worked out of trouble with a strikeout and an inning-ending double play.

Manchester sent nine hitters to the plate in the third inning scoring five runs. A pair of Pioneer errors aided the Spartan rally. Marchant delivered the big blow in the inning with a three-run double into the left field corner. 

Brockmeier (5-5) worked 6.0 innings and was charged with seven runs, five earned, on 11 base hits. He walked two and struck out three.

The Pioneers scored a run in the third and two more in the fourth to cut the deficit to three, 6-3. 

Christian Demko, starting at shortstop with Brockmeier on the mound, lined a one-out double down the right field line in the third inning. Jordan Grilliot drove him in with an RBI single to left.

Marietta took advantage of a Spartan error to score two unearned runs in the fourth. Chris Winpigler led off with a single and Alex Toth was hit by a pitch. A balk by Manchester's Dylan Padgett moved both runners up 90 feet. 

Padgett struck out the next two hitters and appeared to be out of trouble. Bryan Gregorich hit a routine grounder to second that should have ended the threat. However, the defender bobbled the ball allowing Winpigler to score and Gregorich to reach safely. Demko then singled up the middle scoring Toth.

Manchester added a run in the top of the fifth pushing the lead to 7-3. The Pioneers answered with two in the bottom half of the inning to get within two runs. 

Mitch Geers reached on a one-out single. Toth batted with two outs and singled up the middle. After Aaron Hopper was beaned to load the bases, Tim McCoy smacked a two-run single back up the middle making it 7-5.

Padgett (8-1) threw 5.1 innings to get the win. He allowed five runs, three earned, on nine hits. Padgett walked one and had four strikeouts. 

Manchester turned the ball over to its closer, Bryce Murphy, in the sixth inning. Murphy gave up just two hits over the final 3.2 innings to record his 12th save of the season.

The Spartans added an insurance run in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the 10-5 victory. 

Toth went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the Pioneer attack. Grilliot, McCoy and Demko each had two hits in the game. Grilliot and Demko had a double, while McCoy picked up two RBI.

Fans can follow the Pioneers' quest for a third straight national championship at pioneers.marietta.edu. You can also follow the Pioneers on Facebook at facebook.com/MariettaCollege and @MariettaPioneer on Twitter. 

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