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N. MANCHESTER, IN – Manchester College claimed its first regular season HCAC baseball title since 2006 and fourth overall, earning the right to host the 2011 HCAC Baseball Tournament. The tournament will be held at Gratz Field on the campus of Manchester College.
The Spartans, coached by Rick Espeset, earned the No. 1 seed with a 26-13 record overall and a 17-7 mark in league play. Franklin finished second with a 16-8 record in HCAC action and an overall mark of 26-12. Rose-Hulman placed third in the league standings, posting a 26-14 overall record and 16-9 tally in league play. Anderson (26-12, 14-8 HCAC) finished fourth in the league standings and rounds out the four team field.
|Thursday||Game 1||#1 MC vs. #4 AU||Manchester, 15-5
|Game 2||#2 FC vs. #3 RH||Franklin, 13-3
|Friday||Game 3||Manchester vs. Franklin
|Game 4||Anderson vs. Rose-Hulman
|Game 5||Manchester vs. Rose-Hulman
|Saturday||Game 6||Franklin vs. Manchester||Franklin, 9-0
The same four teams each participated in last year's tournament field at Anderson as Rose-Hulman defeated Manchester 20-8 in the championship contest. Rose will try for their third-straight tournament title under the direction of Jeff Jenkins.
Top-seeded Manchester opens play at 12:00 PM against Anderson Thursday. Franklin and Rose-Hulman will tangle in the second game of the afternoon at 3:30 PM.
The Spartans closed out the HCAC schedule dropping five of their last eight games, but held on to claim the top seed. Manchester finished the conference schedule with an 11-2 mark at home this season.
Franklin went 7-0 down the stretch to move into the second seed, while Rose-Hulman won six of eight heading into the tournament to earn the third seed. Anderson won their last four games to edge out Transylvania for the final spot in the field.
Three games will be played Friday, beginning at 9:30 AM, and the championship game in the double-elimination event is set for Saturday at noon. An automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship will be awarded to the winner of the championship.