Manchester Claims HCAC Baseball Title & AQ to NCAA Tourney

TERRE HAUTE, IN – Manchester College upended Anderson University to capture the 2012 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball championship. The Spartans capped a four-game run through the tournament by defeating Anderson, 5-0, on May 12 at Art Nehf Field in Terre Haute.

With the victory, Manchester earned the HCAC automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Spartans improved to 25-19 overall this season.

In Saturday's championship victory over the Ravens, the black and gold offense produced five runs against the Anderson pitching staff. 

Sophomore catcher Robert Heritz (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph's) finished the game 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI.  Sophomore Jordan Nieman (Michigan City, Ind./H.S.) blasted a home run and finished 1-for-5.

Bryce Murphy (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) started the game on the mound for the Spartans and provided a complete game effort, shutting down the potent Anderson offense.  The junior allowed four hits and zero runs, while striking out two Ravens.

Manchester got off to a quick start, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning.  The Spartans put the game out of reach, scoring the final two runs in the seventh inning.

Manchester advanced to Saturday's championship round by virtue of the winner's bracket.  The black and gold, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, topped Rose-Hulman 8-1 on Thursday and secured their spot in the championship game by defeating Franklin, 11-5 on Friday. 

The NCAA tournament draw will be released on May 14.


Manchester Head Coach Rick Espeset


 2012 Baseball All-Tournament Team




Bryce Murphy, P, Manchester


Derek Dauenbaugh, Rose-Hulman


Nathan Ellis, Franklin


Drew Brantley, Anderson


Jake Eaton, Anderson


Nolan Schaefer, Anderson


Greg Vogt, Anderson


Robert Heirtz, Manchester


Jordan Nieman, Manchester


Justin Scott, Manchester