NORTH MANCHESTER, Indiana – Both Manchester University and the Earlham College baseball team used huge 8th innings as the two teams split a doubleheader on Saturday. The Spartans won game one 14-10 while the Quakers won game two 14-8.
In game one, Manchester led 4-0 after three innings, but senior Eric Elkus cut the deficit in half with a two-run home run to right center field in the top of the fourth. The two runs batted in moved Elkus' career total to 114, breaking a tie with Ted Williams (2011-14) for the most in program history.
Trailing 4-2, sophomore Addison Robertson plated home freshman Isaiah Shake with a single to left field in the fifth, and Elkus tied the game with an RBI-single an inning later. Two batters later, senior Cody Krumlauf went yard, driving a two-run home run to left field to give the Quakers a 6-4 advantage.
After the Spartans failed to score in the bottom of the sixth, senior Nate Lynch hit his first career home run in the seventh, a two-run blast to right center field. Trailing 8-4, Manchester scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, but freshman Danny Dopp belted his first career home run in the top of the eighth to put Earlham back ahead by four runs.
Manchester's huge inning followed as the first 11 Spartans reached base. In total, nine runs crossed the plate on eight hits and one Earlham error.
Earlham got one of the runs back in the ninth on an RBI-single from senior Brennan Laird, but couldn't overcome the five-run deficit.
Lynch led the Quakers offense going 3-5 with two RBIs and a home run. Elkus and Krumlauf also had two hits.
Four Spartans had at least three hits as Manchester tallied 21 base hits as a team.
In game two, Earlham jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings, but Manchester tied the game 3-3 with an Eric Knepper solo home run in the bottom of the third.
After both teams failed to score in the fourth inning, the Quakers capitalized in the fifth as senior Matt Barger and Elkus hit RBI-singles followed by another Krumlauf home run – a three-run shot to left field. Five Quakers crossed the plate in the inning giving Earlham an 8-3 advantage.
Manchester didn't back down, however, scoring three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to tie the game 8-8.
Then it was Earlham's turn for a huge inning. The Quakers scored six runs on three hits highlighted by a three-run home run from Laird in the top of the eighth. Freshman Spencer Owen did not allow a hit over the final two innings while striking out three Spartans to earn his first collegiate victory.
The Quakers had 16 hits as a team in game two including three from both Lynch and Laird. Laird drove in four runs while Krumlauf had three RBIs.
Chad Schultz led Manchester's offense going 2-5 with three RBIs.
Earlham stands at 11-9 overall and 6-5 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) after dropped the series 2-1. The Quakers return to action at Mount St. Joseph University on Tuesday.