Former Niles standout Chris Mangus drives in a pair fo IUSB

Published 5:26 pm Friday, March 11, 2016

AVE MARIA, Florida — The Indiana University South Bend baseball team opened its 2016 spring break trip with a 6-4 loss at Ave Maria University on Friday afternoon.

IU South Bend scored four runs on seven hits and committed three errors in the loss.

Kevin Phelps reached base four times with three singles and a walk while scoring two runs. Chris Mangus (Niles) drove in two runs while Spencer McCool recorded two hits and an RBI.

TJ Cerven (Decatur) picked up the loss throwing seven innings allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out seven AMU hitters. After allowing six runs in the first two frames, Cerven held AMU scoreless over the next six frames to keep the Titans in the game.

After falling behind 6-0 after two innings, the Titans offensive managed to get going in the top of the third frame. Phelps led off the inning with a single to right field. After back-to-back strikeouts, McCool and junior Jalon Linville both reached on a walk to load the bases with two outs. After Phelps scored on a passed ball Mangus roped a single into centerfield scoring McCool and Linville to cut the Gyrenes’ lead in half.

The scoring halted for the next three innings as the Titans went into the top of the seventh inning trailing by three runs. Phelps reached for the third time in as many plate appearances to start the inning. Mason Love was brought on to pinch hit and laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Phelps into scoring position. McCool drove in Phelps to cut the IU South Bend deficit to two runs.

Brian Doherty came on in relief for Cerven in the top of the eighth and held the Gyrenes scoreless. The Titans offense threatened in the top of the ninth but couldn’t push any runs across as they drop their third straight game.

The series with Ave Maria will continue Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.