News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 15, 2014

Rose-Hulman knocks off NCAA Division III No. 1 Webster

Engineers' baseball team stays alive in NCAA Regional

EAST MOLINE, ILL. — Rose-Hulman upset the No. 1-ranked Webster University 3-2 in extra innings to eliminate the nation’s top team from the NCAA Division III Central Regional baseball tournament Thursday afternoon.

Sophomore Warren Whithaus, a Robinson, Ill., native, snapped a 2-2 tie in the 11th inning with a game-winning single to score junior Josh Hoeing. The victory marked Rose’s first ever win over a baseball team ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The win also marked the second time this school year that a Rose-Hulman team has eliminated the No. 1 team in the nation in a Division III tournament.

In November, its men’s soccer squad edged previously undefeated Ohio Wesleyan 1-0 in the Round of 32.

Sophomore Caleb Kissel led the Engineers’ offense with five singles and Hoeing added four hits, including a pair of doubles. Whithaus had two singles as part of Rose’s 15-hit attack.

Sophomore Karson Nixon started and pitched six shutout innings prior to a 50-minute rain delay to give the Engineers a solid outing. He allowed three hits with one strikeout as Rose-Hulman led 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth when the rains hit.

After the rain delay, senior Kevin Farley pitched two innings and allowed one earned run as the Gorloks showcased their top ranking in a rally to tie the score at 2-2.

Rose coach Jeff Jenkins called on sophomore closer Alec McNally starting in the ninth inning and McNally threw his best game of the season to earn his second win. He held Webster without a hit over three innings.

Jenkins’ squad jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Senior Hank Akard singled, stole second base and advanced to third on a single by Kissel. Senior Andrew Benitez then doubled to right field to score Akard and give Rose-Hulman a 1-0 lead. Pitcher Chris Jansen pitched out of a bases-loaded jam for Webster to keep the score at 1-0.

In the sixth, Kissel singled and scored on a Hoeing double on the final play before the rain delay was called to give Rose a two-run advantage.

Webster knotted the score with two runs in the eighth. Matt Wollnik and Corey Lasky singled to start the rally and both later scored on a two-run single by Jordan Stoulp. With two runners aboard, Farley coaxed back-to-back hitters to fly out to Akard on a pair of sliding catches in center.

Rose-Hulman had a chance to win in the 10th when Kissel singled and took second on a wild pitch. Webster pitcher Dylan Dean Smith recorded the final out to push the game to the 11th.

In the bottom of the 11th, Hoeing opened with a double to center and took third on a bunt single by freshman Zach Trusk. After a walk to sophomore Josh Koutnik, Whithaus lined a game-winning single to center in a heavy rain.

The win marked Rose-Hulman’s first Division III tournament win in baseball since 2010 and the fourth in school history. The Engineers need one more win to make their farthest advancement in an NCAA baseball tournament in school history and could also meet archrival DePauw later in the tournament with one more victory.

With the win, Rose adavnces in the bracket to a game that will either be played late tonight or early Saturday. The remaining games in Thursday’s Central Regional were postponed to today due to rain.

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