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Earlham Rallies to Top Rose-Hulman Baseball 8-7

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Earlham College rallied with three runs in the ninth inning to top Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 8-7 in the opener of a three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball series at Art Nehf Field on Friday night.

Senior Ryan Hayes hit a two-run home run to right center field to turn a 7-5 Rose-Hulman lead into a 7-7 tie in the top of the ninth.  Later in the inning, Josh Parr brought home the eventual winning run on an RBI double that scored pinch runner Ira Hughes.

Earlham led 5-0 in the fourth inning, before Rose-Hulman scored five runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead.  The fifth inning rallied featured two hit by pitches with the bases loaded, an RBI walk, a run scoring wild pitch and an RBI single by sophomore Donnie Waters (Franklin, Ind.).

Rose-Hulman took the lead with two runs in the sixth inning on a double by sophomore Nevin Fansher (Noblesville), a single by sophomore Evan Witsken (Granger/South Bend St. Joseph's) and a two-run single by senior Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis).

Junior R.J. Carroll (Lexington, Ky./Catholic) allowed three earned runs in seven innings for the Fightin' Engineers, and junior John Krasich (Westfield/Brebeuf) struck out the side in the eighth to lead the pitching effort.

Hayes had two hits, two RBIs and scored once for Earlham, which also had four hits from Alex Arovits.  Ted Williams and Thomas Rea also had two hits each for the Quakers.

Howie Smith picked up the pitching win in relief for Earlham with two scoreless innings, before T.J. Plummer tossed a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Offensively, senior Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) and Witsken had two hits each to lead Rose-Hulman.  Benitez had one RBI and Witsken scored twice.

Earlham improved to 16-13 overall and 8-8 in league play, while Rose-Hulman dropped to 17-10 and 11-5 in conference play.  The Fightin' Engineers will celebrate Senior Day for five team members during Saturday's noon doubleheader against Earlham.