April 12, 2014

Baseball Earns Doubleheader Sweep of MSJ

TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology improved to 10-3 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 13-12 and 7-1 doubleheader sweep over Mount St. Joseph on Saturday at Art Nehf Field.

The wild opener featured a Rose-Hulman comeback from an 8-2 deficit into a 13-12 victory.

In the opener, Rose-Hulman pounded out 18 hits and two school records were set.  Sophomore Alec McNally (Geneva, Ill./Wheaton Academy) established a new single-season saves record with his eighth, breaking the prior mark of seven set by Sam Deters.  Freshman Zach Trusk (Plainfield, Ill./North) also tied a mark of being hit by a pitch three times in the same game, tying a record set by Jeremy Hochstedler.

Offensively, sophomore Josh Hoeing (Rushville, Ind./Rushville) had five hits, including two doubles, to lead the 18-hit Rose-Hulman attack.  Senior Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) added four hits with four RBIs and two runs scored.  Akard blasted his first home run of the season and added a double.

Other Engineers with multiple hits included sophomore Caleb Kissel (Plainfield, Ill./North) with two singles and three runs scored; and sophomore Patrick Klima (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph) with a single, a double and three runs scored.

Ronald Cotton and Michael Gill led the Mount St. Joseph offense with two hits and four RBIs each.  Gill launched a home run, and Cotton was joined with two hits by Tyler Haubner and Taylor Alley.

Senior Kevin Farley (Centennial, Colo./Littleton) improved to 5-0 on the seaosn with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief out of the bullpen.  Junior John Krasich (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) tossed 2.1 scoreless innings with four strikeouts prior to Farley's appearance to keep the margin within reach, before McNally pitched the ninth for the save.

Mount St. Joseph scored five unearned runs in the first inning and added three more in the second to take an 8-2 lead early in the contest.  Rose-Hulman rallied with three runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth to knot the score at 8-8.

Mount St. Joseph responded with three more runs to earn an 11-8 advantage, but Rose-Hulman scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to force an 11-11 tie.

Rose-Hulman scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 13-11 edge.  Hoeing and Klima singled to start the rally, before Akard doubled home the go-ahead run.  Trusk later walked with the bases loaded to push the margin to two.

Mount St. Joseph rallied in the ninth to close within 13-12.  The Lions started the rally with two hit by pitches and later scored on a ground out.  With two on and two out, McNally forced Alley to fly out to end the game and secure the single-season save record.

In the second game, Rose-hulman scored three times in the first and three times in the sixth to earn a convincing 7-1 victory.  Sophomore Karson Nixon (Jasper, Ind./Jasper) tossed six strong innings, scattering seven hits with six strikeouts to lead the pitching effort.  Sophomore Gunnar Hutchison (Vincennes, Ind./Lincoln) tossed the final three innings for his first career save.

Akard led the Fightin' Engineers with three extra base hits.  He blasted his second home run of the season and the day, while adding two doubles and scoring twice.  Trusk also had a three-hit performance with two runs scored.

Other key offensive contributors in the nightcap included sophomore Donnie Waters (Franklin, Ind./Franklin) with two doubles and two runs scored; senior Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) with two singles and three RBIs; and Kissel with two singles and one run scored.

The three-run first-inning spurt featured an RBI double from Waters and a two-run single by Benitez.  Rose-Hulman secured the win with three runs in the sixth, including RBI singles by Trusk, Benitez and sophomore Warren Whithaus (Robinson, Ill.).

Rose-Hulman improved to 15-8 overall and 10-3 in conference play, while Mount St. Joseph dropped to 11-13-1 and 6-7 in league games.  The two teams conclude their three-game series with a single game on Sunday at noon.