April 16, 2019

Indiana recruit Garrett Manous goes 4-for-4, gains closure as Munster beats Hobart

By Mike Hutton – Post Tribune

Chills ran through Munster’s Garrett Manous as the bus pulled into Hobart’s parking lot Tuesday.

Manous remembered the bad day he had at the Brickies’ baseball field last year when he dislocated his ankle, an injury that caused him to miss most of the rest of the regular season.ADVERTISING

The Indiana recruit wanted to put that game behind him.

Manous gained some closure by going 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a triple. The senior center fielder led the Mustangs to a 6-4 Northwest Crossroads Conference victory in six innings.

The game ended early because of darkness, and Manous had another hit and RBI for Munster (4-3, 1-2) that was wiped out in the seventh inning when the game was called.

Getting through the game against Hobart (6-4, 2-1) was emotional enough for Manous.

He hurt his ankle last season trying to beat out an infield hit. He popped the ankle back into place and played the final two innings.

The next day, Manous went to the doctor.

He was supposed to return in eight weeks, but his ankle didn’t heal properly, so he had to have surgery. Manous returned to play in the sectional semifinals.

“I had this game marked on my schedule at the start of the season,” Manous said. “It’s bittersweet. I’m just glad I’m here with my ankle feeling fully healthy.”

Manous said this was his best hitting performance all season.

“I was seeing the ball out of the pitchers’ hands really well,” he said. “I just felt good.”

Munster coach Bob Shinkan confirmed Manous’ performance wasn’t a surprise.

Munster’s Garrett Manous swings at a pitch during a game against Andrean on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Kyle Telechan / Post-Tribune)

“He’s a four-year starter,” Shinkan said. “That’s what we expect from him. He’s just starting to get in his groove.”

Manous’ last hit, which drove in the fifth run in the sixth, was set up by a perfect bunt by Ronnie Nowak.

Nowak executed the bunt in front of third base with a runner at second.

Manous then singled. Nick Fies added an RBI, and the Mustangs had their first conference victory.

Shinkan said Nowak is a great No. 9 hitter.

“Our ninth hitter is always a second leadoff hitter,” Shinkan said. “A lot of times, you have to start the inning with your ninth hitter. He’s perfect for it. He’s got good speed and some savvy.”

Hobart coach Bob Glover said he will have to go back to the drawing board.

The Brickies committed four errors. They had three more in the top of the seventh, which did not count.

“The bottom line is you can’t win a game playing like that,” Glover said. “We were poor defensively. We were poor in our last game last week. We are going to have to figure it out in a hurry.”

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