DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College baseball team earned a two-game split against Manchester (Ind.) University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader and home opener at Craig A. Rutter Field. The Yellow Jackets lost the first game, 5-1, but came away with a victory in game two, 6-5.
Defiance (5-11, 2-3 HCAC) managed seven hits against Manchester (5-11, 2-3 HCAC) in game one with senior Zack Reed (Midland, Mich./Bullock Creek) recording two hits in three attempts to lead the team in that category. Five other Yellow Jackets each recorded a hit in the game.
On the mound, sophomore Paris Creek (Bryan) started the game and pitched seven complete innings, but would suffer the loss and dropped to 1-1 overall for the season. In seven innings, Creek allowed three runs on three hits and struck out three batters. Junior Cody Nelson (Clayton, Mich./Hudson) pitched a third of an inning in relief and allowed two runs on one hit. Freshman Kody King (Cecil/Fairview) finished the game giving up no runs and just one hit while posting three strikeouts.
Manchester got the offense started with a run in the top of the first inning on a RBI base hit and then added two more scores in the fourth to lead 3-0.
Defiance's lone run came in the bottom of the sixth when a double by senior Quinten Harrington (Sandusky/Perkins) plated sophomore Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) who led off the inning with a double of his own.
The Spartans scored their final runs in the eighth to seal the 5-1 victory.
In game two, DC tallied nine hits led by the trio of Reed and sophomores Troy Konwinski (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park) and Tyler Weaver (Defiance) who all finished two-of-four at the plate. Reed and Weaver both also added a run scored and RBI, while Konwinski scored a run in addition to driving in two runs.
At pitcher, senior Nick Watkins (Lima/Central Catholic) got the start and went six innings surrendering two runs on seven hits to go along with two strikeouts. He was also credited with the win and improves to 1-2 overall on the year. Senior Nick Peters (Macomb, Mich./Eisenhower) replaced Watkins and pitched 2.1 innings allowing three runs on three hits. Konwinski pitched the final two-thirds giving up two hits, had one strikeout, and got the save.
Both teams exchanged runs in the first inning with DC's run coming off the bat of Konwinski on a double that scored Gilliland. The Jackets then took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI-groundout by freshman Corbin Edwards (Paulding) and a RBI-base hit by Reed to make the score, 3-1.
Manchester cut the deficit in half with a run in the sixth, but Defiance got some breathing room with a three-run eighth on RBI-singles by Konwinski, Harrington and Weaver.
The Spartans made things interesting in the ninth with a rally that saw them cross homeplate three times before the Yellow Jackets recorded the game-ending out to hang on for the 6-5 win and the split.
Defiance is scheduled to return to action tomorrow (Wednesday, Mar. 29) with a non-conference single game against Ohio Northern University at Rutter Field. The game is slated to begin at 4 p.m.