Baseball Team Sweeps Bluffton, Moves to 3-0 in HCAC

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology battled Bluffton University for more than six hours in two competitive baseball matchups before completing a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series sweep on Saturday at Art Nehf Field.

In the opener, Rose-Hulman relied on 13th inning doubles by sophomore Josh Hoeing (Rushville) and Kody Alayon (Hammond/Bishop Noll) to earn a 2-1 victory.

In the nightcap, the Fightin' Engineers scored four runs in the second and three in the sixth to hold off a Bluffton rally in a 7-5 victory.

The game one marathon featured a strong pitching performance from Rose-Hulman junior R.J. Carroll (Lexington, Ky./Catholic) and Bluffton's Ben Roeschley.  Carroll tossed 7.1 innings, allowing nine hits but just one earned run with three strikeouts.  Roeschley allowed just six hits and one run over eight innings.

In extra innings, Rose-Hulman senior Kevin Farley (Centennial, Colo./Littleton) and Bluffton's Dyson Bowman continued the strong pitching.  Farley tossed four scoreless innings with three strikeouts to pick up the win, while Bowman pitched four scoreless innings before the two doubles in the 13th frame.

Offensively, both teams had chances before the strong pitching ended various threats.  Bluffton outhit the Engineers 14-10 in the contest, and both teams left more than 15 runners on base. 

Senior Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis), senior Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii), freshman Kevin Jendra (Wheaton, Ill./Benet Academy) and Hoeing had two hits each to pace the Rose-Hulman attack.  Akard scored once, while Benitez had one RBI.

In game two, Rose-Hulman relied on a bases loaded double from Akard to turn a 4-4 tie into a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Freshman Zach Trusk (Plainfield, Ill./North) was the lone Engineer with multiple hits with two singles and two runs scored, while sophomore Donnie Waters (Franklin) added a double to the effort.  Alayon and Hoeing added one run and one RBI.

Sophomore Daniel Sutherland (Centennial, Colo./Regis Jesuit) picked up the win in relief, with junior John Krasich (Westfield/Brebeuf Jesuit) tossing 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.  Sophomore Alec McNally (Geneva, Ill./Wheaton Academy) recorded the final out to pick up the save, while sophomore Karson Nixon (Jasper) tallied six strikeouts in five innings of work.

Rose-Hulman stands 8-4 and 3-0 in HCAC play, while Bluffton has a 7-7 mark and is 0-3 in league games.  The Fightin' Engineers host Hanover College in a three-game series at Art Nehf Field on Friday and Saturday.