TERRE HAUTE —
Jeff Jenkins is serious about his baseball.
At least he’s been thoughtful enough to let his Rose-Hulman teams start their seasons in Florida 22 out of the 24 years he’s been in charge.
“It’s great to go to Florida,” Jenkins told the Tribune-Star last week. “Obviously, in late February, you can’t count on the weather in Indiana. So it’s good that we’re able to go to a warmer climate.”
This season is no exception as the Engineers prepare to debut Sunday against NCAA Division III No. 16-ranked Farmingdale State at Winter Haven, Fla. That will be their first of six games in the Sunshine State before they return to the chilly Midwest.
Jenkins, his assistant coaches and his players have plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2013 season and going to Florida is just one of them.
In 2012, Rose captured the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title with an 18-6 record and finished 27-14 overall.
“It was an outstanding effort for us,” Jenkins reflected. “It wasn’t one of our better teams, but we did some nice things. We led the nation [Division III] in double plays. We led all NCAA divisions in number of double plays per game. All in all, it was a very good season.”
A return to the top of the HCAC standings is not out of the question for the updated version of the Engineers, although Jenkins is cautious about crowning them as favorites. Since last season, they’ve lost six players to graduation and another former starter who decided not to play baseball in 2013.
“I think we’ve got talent, but we’re really young in spots,” Jenkins said. “We have a nice senior group and very few sophomores and juniors. And we have one of the most talented freshman groups I think we’ve ever had.”
“We’re very optimistic for this year,” senior third baseman Bobby Newman added. “We have a good core of seniors … and the freshman class is looking really good.”
Newman isn’t shy about expressing his goals for the season: “Win the conference regular season and win the conference tournament.
“Those are both realistic goals,” he continued. “And if we get into the NCAA [Division III] tourney [which will begin May 15-19 with the Mideast Regional at Rose Hulman’s Art Nehf Field], then anything can happen.”
Some of the Engineers’ top returnees include junior center fielder/relief pitcher Hank Akard (.371, 33 runs, 14 doubles, 12 stolen bases, 1-1 record, 3.13 earned-run average, five saves), Newman (.324, 33 runs, 26 RBIs, 11 doubles, three home runs), junior second baseman Andrew Benitez (.329, 31 runs, 28 RBIs, two homers) and sophomore right-handed pitcher Ben Menich (6-1 record, 2.98 ERA). Akard was named the team’s Most Valuable Player last season.
Jenkins also said he is glad to have back senior first baseman Donald Stopka (.300, 27 runs, 24 RBIs, 10 doubles), senior catcher Matt Turk (25 runs, 21 RBIs, six steals) and senior pitchers Matt Green (1-1) and Ethan Post (3-1). Post, who carries a 4.0 grade-point average, was an Academic All-American last season.
Jenkins then tossed out the name Kevin Farley, a junior right-handed pitcher who missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, as another potential contributor.
“We’ve got several good [pitching] arms,” the veteran coach noted. “It’s a group with some of the livelier arms that we’ve had in a long time. I think there are some freshmen who are really going to help us.”
On offense, Jenkins doesn’t think Rose will display much power, but it should still be able to produce runs.
“I think we have several kids who are going to be good gap-to-gap hitters,” Jenkins explained. “We’ve got to get walks and we’ve got to run the bases smartly because we’re not going to be a team that will hit the ball out of the park with any consistency.”
The Engineers will be without one of their best hitters from last season, Parker Fulkerson of Terre Haute. He left the team over the winter, Jenkins said.
Senior Nick Pilipovich of Terre Haute is still on the team and will rotate in at catcher.
Back to the HCAC, Rose-Hulman was picked to finish third in the preseason coaches poll. Manchester, which emerged triumphant in last season’s conference tournament, is favored to win the title.
“They’re loaded,” Jenkins said of the Spartans from North Manchester. “They’ve got all-conference players at four or five positions. They’re going to be a tough out.”
Overall, Jenkins sounds just as excited about coaching this group of Engineers as he did about any of his teams.
“Every team is a little bit different,” he insisted. “This team has been a real joy to coach because they really bust their tails and they seem to have fun with it. I think we’ve had one of the best offseasons we’ve ever had. It’s a fun, fun group.”
Rose-Hulman’s first home games will be a doubleheader against Carthage on March 9.
Rose-Hulman Baseball 2013
Feb. 24 — vs. Farmingdale State at Winter Haven, Fla., 1 p.m.
Feb. 25 — vs. Alma at Winter Haven, Fla., 11 a.m.
Feb. 26 — vs. Capital at Auburndale, Fla., 1 p.m.
Feb. 28 — vs. Augustana (Ill.) at Winter Haven, Fla., 10:30 a.m.
March 1 — vs. Milwaukee Engineering at Auburndale, Fla., 10:45 a.m.
March 2 — vs. Capital at Auburndale, Fla., 10 a.m.
March 6 — at Wheaton, 4 p.m.
March 9 — Carthage (2), 1 p.m.
March 10 — Carthage, noon
March 16 — DePauw, 11 a.m., and Concordia, 5 p.m.
March 17 — vs. Concordia, 1 p.m., and DePauw, 4 p.m., at DePauw
March 23 — at Mount St. Joseph* (2), noon
March 24 — at Mount St. Joseph*, noon
March 29 — at Bluffton*, 4:15 p.m.
March 30 — at Bluffton* (2), noon
April 2 — at Franklin*, 4 p.m.
April 5 — at Hanover*, 4 p.m.
April 6 — at Hanover* (2), noon
April 9 — Anderson*, 6 p.m.
April 10 — Washington (St. Louis) U., 6 p.m.
April 13 — Transylvania*, 6 p.m.
April 14 — Transylvania* (2), noon
April 16 — vs. Franklin* at Indianapolis’ Victory Field, 7 p.m.
April 19 — Manchester*, 7 p.m.
April 20 — Manchester* (2), noon
April 23 — at Anderson*, 4:15 p.m.
April 26 — Defiance*, 7 p.m.
April 27 — Defiance (2)*, noon
May 4 — at Earlham* (2), 2 p.m.
May 5 — at Earlham*, noon
May 9-11 — HCAC tournament at No. 1 seed, TBA
* — denotes Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference games
TERRE HAUTE —
Jeff Jenkins is serious about his baseball.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose’s Strickland named HCAC MVP again, Shaw wins Coach of the Year
Rose-Hulman senior guard Julian Strickland has been named the 2013-2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and headlines the 12-member All-HCAC first and second teams for men’s basketball, according to an announcement from the league Tuesday.
It is the second straight HCAC MVP honor for Strickland, becoming the first player since Franklin’s Jason Sibley (1997-98 and 1998-99) to earn back-to-back MVP awards. Sibley was a graduate of Terre Haute South High School.
Metro roundup: Rose baseball loses 7-0 in Florida
Mount Union University remained unbeaten this baseball season with a 7-0 victory over Rose-Hulman in a rain-shortened game Tuesday.
Mount Union improved to 5-0 when the game was called after eight innings due to significant rain.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Rose coach expects wide-open race for HCAC title
Both Rose-Hulman basketball programs hope their teams will still be talked about in the Wabash Valley media after this weekend when they compete in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments.
Metro roundup: Hutson awarded USA Track and Field grant
Terre Haute native and 2016 Olympic hopeful Kylie Hutson was awarded a $7,000 grant from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
Rose coach still ‘hanging around’
Approaching the start of his 25th season as Rose-Hulman’s baseball coach, Jeff Jenkins remembers some of his 601 victories, most of his teams’ highlights from five NCAA Division III tournament appearances and pretty much all of Art Nehf Field’s significant upgrades. He also can count on one hand how many times that umpires have tossed him from a game — two.
Rose-Hulman men lose game, gain co-HCAC title
Despite a loss at Mount St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon, the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team earned a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and will host the semifinal and championship rounds of this week’s league tournament.
Mount St. Joseph improved to 16-8 overall and finished fourth in the league standings after a 69-57 victory. Rose completed its regular season with a 20-5 mark for the sixth 20-win season in its men’s basketball history.
Female Engineers climb into HCAC tourney with win at Mount St. Joseph
Led by 16 points from senior Kelsey Ploof, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team defeated Mount St. Joseph 58-51 in its regular-season finale Saturday to clinch the final spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
The Engineers (10-15, 8-10 HCAC) earned the sixth seed in the upcoming league tournament and will face Franklin in the quarterfinals Friday at tournament host Transylvania in Lexington, Ky. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman men clinch share of HCAC title
Rose-Hulman clinched at least a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship and will host the league tournament starting Feb. 28 after winning 71-69 at Franklin on Wednesday night.
Rose’s Alec Houpt hopes to make fifth Division III tournament appearance
Is Alec Houpt the good-luck charm for Rose-Hulman athletics?
Should his likeness appear on a box of Lucky Charms cereal?
Houpt admits he’s not a star in any sport, yet he’s been a member of four teams that have advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament. They were men’s soccer as a sophomore (2011) and senior (2013) and men’s basketball as a sophomore (2011-12) and junior (2012-13).
Streaking Engineers return to national poll
Rose-Hulman’s men’s basketball team has earned a national ranking for the first time this season, reaching the No. 24 spot in the d3hoops.com national top 25 poll released Monday.
Metro Roundup: Rose-Hulman's Montgomery wins HCAC award again
Rose-Hulman’s Ryann-Rebecca Montgomery has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Week for the third time this season after a historic performance on Friday.
Shaw wins 300th for first-place Engineers
Rose-Hulman’s Jim Shaw became the second men's basketball coach in program history to win 300 career games as the Fightin' Engineers rallied to defeat Bluffton University 61-55 on Saturday afternoon.
Rose-Hulman outscored Bluffton 39-15 in the second half to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and improve to 19-4 on the season. The Engineers are also 14-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play and maintain a one-game lead over Defiance in the conference standings. Rose-Hulman needs one win in its last two games to secure hosting rights for the HCAC Tournament.
Rose’s Jim Shaw nearing 300 victories
Rose-Hulman hits the road for Bluffton and a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup at 3 p.m. today.
Metro roundup: Rose-Hulman's Strickland earns national D-III honor
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland has been named to the d3hoops.com National Team of the Week for his efforts in last week’s two men’s basketball victories.
Strickland, other Rose seniors play final home game tonight
Rose-Hulman will play host to Hanover in Senior Night men’s basketball at 7:30 tonight in Hulbert Arena.
The Engineers lead Defiance by one game and Hanover by two in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings entering their final regular-season home game.
Metro roundup: Sycamores, UNI to be national ESPNU game
Indiana State’s final men’s home game of the college basketball season has been chosen for ESPNU’s 1 p.m. telecast on March 1. It’s Senior Day for the Sycamores.
Strickland erupts for 41 in Rose-Hulman victory
Rose-Hulman senior Julian Strickland scored a career-high 41 points to help lift the Engineers past Manchester 85-65 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball Saturday afternoon.
Strickland recorded the eighth 40-point game in the history of Rose men’s basketball in the contest. His effort joins Don Ings (four times from 1967-70), Bryan Egli (twice in 1999) and Ed Downey (once in 1963-64) as 40-point games on the list.
Rose Hulman’s Schultheis repeats as Athlete of the Week
Rose-Hulman’s Austin Schultheis has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for a second consecutive time.
Sole possession of first place in HCAC belongs to Shaw’s Engineers
The Rose-Hulman men’s basketball team took its first lead in more than 23 minutes with 1:23 left on the clock and then shut down the Defiance offense to clinch a 58-54 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers (14-4, 10-2 HCAC) took over sole possession of first place in the conference with the win over the Yellow Jackets (9-3, 14-5), who entered the contest tied with Rose.
Freshmen lead Rose women to HCAC victory
Sparked by breakout performances from a pair of freshmen, the Rose-Hulman women’s basketball team held on to defeat Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Defiance 69-59 Saturday afternoon in Hulbert Arena.
Six-foot-2 forward Josie Schmidt was two shy of her career high with a game-high 17 points. She added five rebounds and a block in an 8-for-14 performance from the field. Classmate Abbie Marshall had one of her best games of the season, totaling a career-best 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with seven boards, five assists and four steals.
Rose, Defiance to battle for first place today
Rose-Hulman and Defiance will square off in a battle for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings at 3 p.m. today in Hulbert Arena.
Rose-Hulman needs OT to beat Anderson
Rose-Hulman men¹s basketball coach Jim Shaw did not need a reminder that you
can¹t always judge a team by its records. But he got one anyway.
Anderson edges RHIT women
Shelby Shaffer snapped a 54-54 tie with two free throws at the 11-second
mark, and Anderson University held the Fightin' Engineers in the final
seconds to earn a 58-54 women's basketball victory over Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology on Wednesday night.
Metro roundup: Evans a national high jump qualifier
Rose-Hulman graduate student Liz Evans has qualified for the USATF Indoor Championships in high jump after clearing a career-best indoor height over the weekend.
- More Rose-Hulman Headlines
- Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win