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Baseball Narrowly Falls in HCAC Tournament Opener

Baseball Narrowly Falls in HCAC Tournament Opener

RICHMOND, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology jumped out to an early lead, before top-seeded Earlham College rallied to win the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament opener 4-3 on Thursday afternoon.

Rose-Hulman scored three times in the second inning, and Earlham scored in each of the first three innings to knot the score at 3-3.  The game turned into a pitching duel between Rose-Hulman's Cody Sunderhaus and Earlham's Howie Smith before the Quakers finally snapped the tie in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Senior catcher Zach Trusk had two singles and caught two Earlham baserunners trying to steal to lead the Rose-Hulman performance. Senior Koby Close added two singles and scored one run for Rose-Hulman.  Sophomore Conner Shipley contributed a single and one RBI.

Isaiah Shake and Kendal Baker led the Earlham offense with two hits each.  Matt Barger scored twice and Eric Elkus recorded two RBIs for the Quakers.

Sunderhaus and Smith both pitched into the eighth inning before giving way to strong bullpen efforts.  Sunderhaus allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings, and Chuck Alexa allowed just one unearned runs in two-plus innings for the Engineers.  Walter Talcott picked up the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of work.

Rose-Hulman had an opportunity to take the lead in the eighth, before Talcott worked his way out of a jam with a popout and a strikeout with a runner on third and one out.  The Quakers would win the game on an error, a single and a game-winning hit by Danny Dopp.

Rose-Hulman stands 18-23 and returns to action against Mount St. Joseph on Friday at 12:30 p.m.  Earlham stands 27-12 and advances to the 9:30 a.m. winner's bracket game against Manchester.  If Rose-Hulman wins its first game Friday afternoon, the Fightin' Engineers would return to the diamond at 4 p.m. on Friday in HCAC Tournament Game 5.