MOLINE, ILL. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology made history by rallying from a 3-0 deficit to top Buena Vista University 4-3 in 13 innings at the NCAA Division III Central Baseball Regional at Augustana College on Saturday afternoon.
The Fightin' Engineers earned their second win in an NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament for the first time in school history, and advance to Saturday night's game against DePauw University. Rose-Hulman and DePauw are meeting for the first time ever in any NCAA Tournament event in tonight's game.
Senior Kevin Farley (Centennial, Colo./Littleton) picked up the win with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen to cap a strong pitching effort. After allowing three runs in the first inning, three Rose-Hulman pitchers shutout the nationally ranked Beavers for the next 12 innings.
Junior R.J. Carroll (Lexington, Ky./Catholic) pitched the first eight innings to keep the Fightin' Engineers in the contest. Carroll allowed five hits and three runs in the first inning, but settled in and allowed just six hits in seven more scoreless innings.
Junior John Krasich (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit) came in with one aboard in the ninth and shut down the Buena Vista attack without a run to force extra innings. Sophomore Alec McNally (Geneva, Ill./Wheaton Academy) threw two scoreless innings with one strikeout to match talented Buena Vista closer Ian Grigsby and keep the game alive.
Rose-Hulman trailed 3-0 after one inning, but scored twice in the second to move within 3-2. Freshman Zach Trusk (Plainfield, Ill./North) walked and scored on back-to-back singles by sophomore Warren Whithaus (Robinson, Ill./Robinson) and sophomore Nevin Fansher (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Christian). A passed ball later brought in the second run.
The Fightin' Engineers rallied to tie the game with one run in the seventh. Sophomore Kody Alayon (Hammond, Ind./Bishop Noll) singled and stole second, later moving to third on a bunt single by senior Hank Akard (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis). Junior Josh Hoeing (Rushville, Ind./Rushville) tied the score with a sacrifice fly to knot the score at 3-3.
With the 3-3 tie forced, Buena Vista closer Ian Grigsby took over and held the Fightin' Engineer offense at bay until the 13th. Grisby pitched five hitless innings before Hoeing started the 13th with a single. After a walk to Trusk, pinch hitter sophomore Chris Grable (Loveland, Ohio/Mason) grounded a ball up the middle that was booted by Buena Vista and into the outfield to score Hoeing with the eventual winning run.
The 15th ranked Beavers would not go down without a fight in the 13th, however. With one out, back-to-back hits by Joe Paletta and Weston Foxx put runners on second and third with one out. Farley coaxed Jeremy Lambert into a ground out back to the pitcher, and forced Tanner Truesdell to ground out to second baseman Caleb Kissel (Plainfield, Ill./North) to end the game.
Rose-Hulman had eight players with one hit each, with junior Patrick Klima (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph) leading the way with a double. Hoeing had a single, one run scored and an RBI for the Fightin' Engineers.
Rose-Hulman improved to 28-17 on the season, while Buena Vista ended the year at 37-9. The Fightin' Engineers also eliminated their second consecutive nationally ranked team in extra innings, after topping No. 1 ranked Webster 3-2 in 11 innings on Thursday.