BLUFFTON, Ohio - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology earned a key Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball sweep at Bluffton University 7-4 and 7-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman jumped into fourth place in the HCAC standings at 8-7 with the sweep, currently moving into fourth place with two home games remaining. The top five teams in the league standings will qualify for the HCAC Tournament on May 10-13.
In the opener, Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Bluffton scored four times in the seventh to knot the score at 4-4. The Fightin' Engineers responded with a three-run eighth inning to claim a 7-4 win.
Conner Helbling, Harris Camp and Zach Donnelly led the game one offense with two singles each. Helbling scored once and had two RBIs, Camp added one run, and Donnelly had one RBI. Sean Casey added a double, one run and one RBI to the performance.
The offense helped Clayton Mayfield pick up the pitching victory. Mayfield tossed seven strong innings, allowing just five hits with four strikeouts. Chuck Alexa pitched the final two scoreless innings to pick up his second save.
In game two, Rose-Hulman scored four times in the sixth to turn a 3-1 lead into a 7-1 victory. Luke Buehler enjoyed the most dominating performance of his college career, striking out a career-high 16 to rank fourth in single-game school history. Buehler's 16 strikeouts are the most by a Rose-Hulman pitcher since Andy Cain struck out 17 against Centre in 1999.
Buehler allowed just six hits, two walks and one run in eight innings, before Dan Connolly struck out the side in the ninth. The 19 combined strikeouts by Buehler and Connolly snap the previous record of 18 set in a game over 100 years ago in 1911.
Rose-Hulman improved to 15-21 overall and 8-7 in conference play with the sweep, while Bluffton dropped to 18-16 and 7-9 in league play. The Fightin' Engineers return home for Senior Day and the final HCAC games of the regular season on Saturday May 5 against Anderson, starting at noon.