Rose-Hulman Baseball Falls to Earlham on Senior Day

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Earlham College relied on two strong complete game pitching performances to top Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 2-1 and 3-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon.

Matt Brankle tossed a four-hitter with nine strikeouts in the opener for the Quakers, and Zach Lee scattered seven hits with three strikeouts in a complete game in the nightcap.

Rose-Hulman also had strong pitching performances in the doubleheader.  Sophomore Karson Nixon (Jasper, Ind.) allowed just two runs in eight innings in the opener, and sophomore Andrew Stull (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake) tossed six innings and held Earlham to three runs in the nightcap. 

Two senior relief pitchers also made their presence felt during the final home game of the season.  Michael Bush (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Christian) tossed a scoreless ninth in game one, and senior Kevin Farley (Centennial, Colo./Regis Jesuit) threw three scoreless frames in the nightcap.

Earlham scored twice in the first inning in game one, then held on for the 2-1 win.  Ryan McCray had an RBI single, and Ted Williams brought home the second run on an RBI ground out later in the inning.

Rose-Hulman scored once on a double by sophomore Kody Alayon (Hammond, Ind./Bishop Noll) and an RBI ground out by senior Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii).  Alayon led the game one offense with two hits, while Benitez and senior Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) had one hit each.

In the nightcap, Earlham scored three times in the fifth inning to turn a 1-0 deficit into an eventual 3-1 win.  Ted Williams had two hits and one RBI to lead a balanced Quaker offensive attack.

Sophomore Nevin Fansher (Noblesville) had two hits and scored once, while Alayon had a double and an RBI to lead the Rose-Hulman offense.

The Fightin' Engineers also celebrated Senior Day for five members of the squad at Saturday's game.  Honorees included Akard, Benitez, Bush, Farley and senior pitcher Chris Erickson (Edwardsville, Ill.).

Rose-Hulman stands 17-12 on the season and 11-7 in HCAC play, while Earlham is 18-13 and 10-8 in conference games.  The Fightin' Engineers return to action on Tuesday at Anderson University.