The Ravens of Anderson University moved a half game ahead of Rose-Hulman in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball standings with a 2-0 win over Mount St. Joseph on senior day at Don Brandon Field on Sunday.
Manchester aided the Ravens’ efforts by beating Rose-Hulman 7-6 at Manchester.
The loss knocks Rose-Hulman down to 16-5 in the league standings. The Ravens’ win pushed their record in conference play to 17-5 and 25-12 overall.
The Ravens have one last series left in the regular season as they travel to Franklin College for three games. AU would win the conference championship with a three-game sweep next weekend.
Ravens skipper David Pressley said that his seniors being honored before the game have been consistent throughout their careers. He was pleased that they won their last regular season home game and hopes they can come back home to play again in the conference tourney.
[Photo: Anderson University freshman Jake Eaton delivers a pitch during Sunday’s game against Mount St. Joseph.]
The eight seniors who were honored were Kyle Beckman, Vince Moore, Brett Detty, Michael Tucker, Nate Wills, Nate Clem, Drew Kidd, and Greg Vogt.
“A lot of them have a big part,” Pressley said of his seniors. “They played for four years, and obviously today, to come out and finish strong on our field is a great day. They’ve been very consistent for us. I’m glad they had a good day to finish at our park. Hopefully we can come back here in two weeks for the tournament.”
Two of those seniors he spoke of played a key role offensively sparking the only two runs the offense was able to manufacture. Detty smashed a single in the third inning, which plated third baseman Aaron Rogers who had doubled earlier.
Little did Detty know at the time, but that single would prove to be the game winner.
The senior moments weren’t through as Tucker tied the conference home run mark with a towering blast to left field in the bottom of the sixth to add an insurance run.
Tucker said that his emotions came out as he stood with the other seniors before the first pitch was thrown. The 6-foot-5 bruising first baseman said he couldn’t hold them back as he scoured his memory bank regarding all they had been through in his four years.
“It was really special,” he said of senior day. “I didn’t think I would get emotional, and then I saw some of my teammates. We’ve been through hell and back and thick and thin and it was just awesome. What a great way ... I wouldn’t want to have it with any other guys than our group of seniors.”
Tucker gave thanks to everyone from God to Jake Eaton who pitched seven strong innings for the win. He said that because of all of them it was just one more reason his home run on senior day was made special.
“It was great to get a home run and definitely to get a win,” said Tucker. “Jake Eaton, a freshman, stepped up huge. That was really impressive. He’s been really impressive of late, and that was awesome.”
Pressley said that they aren’t just content with getting to the postseason. He said they still want to win the HCAC.
“Go win conference,” was his message to his team after the sweep. “Work hard to sweep this weekend (versus Franklin) and give ourselves the best chance to win this conference. We’re proud to be going to the postseason again, but we’re going to shoot for that highest goal at this point.”
— Travis Whitton for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission. Photo credit: David Humphrey.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.