News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 11, 2012

Top-seeded Rose-Hulman falls in opener of HCAC Tournament

Engineers' baseball team loses 8-1 to Manchester

Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A couple of Rose-Hulman streaks came to an end Thursday night in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball tournament action, but the home-team jinx looks to be still alive.

Two Engineers had long streaks of reaching base in consecutive games snapped during an 8-1 loss to Manchester at Art Nehf Field, leaving the home team with an uphill battle in an attempt to become the first home team since 2004 to win the HCAC tournament championship.

“It’s a tough hill to climb, but it’s been done before,” noted senior outfielder Derek Dauenbaugh, who had three of the seven Engineer hits and his team’s only RBI.

Manchester, which improved to 23-18 for the season, won the right to play second-seeded Franklin (31-9) at noon today. The elimination game between the 27-13 Engineers and 25-16 Anderson follows at 3:30, and its survivor plays the noon game’s loser at 7 p.m.

Coach Jeff Jenkins lamented his team’s shortness of pitchers after Thursday’s game — senior ace Jim Bob Schuler has a bad elbow that will sideline him for at least one more day — but it was his team’s hitting that bothered him after the loss.

“[The Spartans] have two guys who can hit the ball out of the yard [and did so], and we had seven harmless singles,” the Rose coach said.

Manchester’s long-ball tendencies broke open what had, for three innings, been a speedy little pitchers’ duel between Ben Menich of the Engineers and Justin Scott of the Spartans, who had allowed one hit each.

But Brad Murphy of the visitors topped an infield single down the third-base line to start the fourth inning and Manchester shortstop Corey Marchant — the HCAC’s top power hitter — and third baseman Jordan Nieman hit back-to-back homers. A walk, an infield hit, a ground out and a wild pitch enabled Manchester to get a fourth run before the inning was over.

Scott issued his first walk of the game to Parker Fulkerson to start the bottom of the inning, and Dauenbaugh’s clutch two-out single made the score 4-1. It very well could have stayed that way for awhile.

But in the top of the sixth, Manchester used two bunts and three Rose-Hulman throwing errors for another four-run rally. Now the score was 8-1 and the Engineers were in trouble.

“[The Spartans] earned the one [big inning], but then we threw the ball all over the yard,” Jenkins said. “[The score] could easily have been 4-1, and then we’ve got a fighting chance.”

Sophomore John Krasich kept the score at 8-1 with some good innings of relief pitching. “Johnny Krasich was really outstanding,” his coach said. “He kept [the Spartans] right there. But we’ve got to get an extra-base hit sometime. We’re not driving the ball at all.”

Dauenbaugh, Rose-Hulman’s career batting average leader, improved that mark on Thursday with a 3-for-4 outing and also had an outstanding catch in left field. The senior who has missed all but seven games this season with a couple of injuries — first a torn Achilles tendon, then a strained hamstring suffered in one of his first games back — is more than ready to play two games today, and hopefully two more on Saturday.

“Obviously you’d like to get a win,” Dauenbaugh said after his game was praised. “I like to help the team any way I can ... and I’d like to get zero hits and get a team win.”

Today, he added, “I’ll just tell the guys to go out and have some fun ... anyone can get hot come tourney time. [The Spartans] came out to play today, and we picked a bad time to have a bad game.”

Third baseman Bobby Newman had what is almost surely a school-record streak end when he failed to reach base for the first time in 53 games — all 39 of the previous games this season, plus the last 13 of the 2011 campaign. Will Burchett also had a 16-game on-base streak snapped, although Andrew Benitez and Hank Akard — today’s probable pitcher, if he didn’t injure his ankle on an awkward step at second base Thursday — extended personal hitting streaks to 15 games each.

Manchester 8,

Rose-Hulman 1

Manchester    ab    r    h    bi    Rose-Hulman    ab    r    h    bi

BryMurphy rf    4    0    1    1    Burchett ss    4    0    0    0

BraMurphy 1b    3    1    1    1    Fulkerson dh    2    1    0    0

Marchant ss    5    1    1    3    Benitez 2b    4    0    1    0

Nieman 3b    5    1    2    1    Newman 3b    3    0    0    0

Norris dh    5    1    2    0    McKinney ph    1    0    1    0

Schell lf    4    2    1    1    Dauenbaugh lf    4    0    3    1   

Kimm 2b    4    1    2    0    Akard cf    3    0    1    0

Lehrman c    3    0    0    0    Chipka cf    1    0    0    0

Rieke cf    4    1    0    1    Weinle rf    3    0    0    0

                    Collett ph    1    0    0    0

                    Stopka 1b    2    0    1    0

                    Turk c    2    0    0    0

                    Pilipovich c    1    0    0    0

Totals    37    8    10    8    Totals    31    1    7    1

Manchester    000    404    000    —    8

Rose-Hulman    000    100    000    —    1

E — Newman 2, Benitez. DP — Manchester 3, RH 1. LOB — Manchester 7, RH 6. 2B — Nieman. HR — Marchant, Nieman. SB — Bra.Murphy. SH — Lehrman.

    IP    H    R    ER    W    K


Scott (W, 7-5)    9    7    1    1    3    6


Menich  (L, 6-1)    5 1⁄3    8    8    5    2    2

Krasich    3 2⁄3    2    0    0    1    1

WP — Scott, Menich, Krasich. HBP — by Menich (Bra.Murphy). T — 2:07. Att — 350.

Next — Rose-Hulman (27-13) plays Anderson (25-16) at 3:30 p.m. today in an elimination game. Manchester (23-18) and Franklin (31-9) plays at noon for the right to advance to Saturday's championship round.