With DePauw as the regular-season home finale, Rose-Hulman baseball coach Jeff Jenkins knew who to turn to.
Daniel Sutherland improved to 3-0 against the Tigers by scattering six hits over seven-plus innings. Rose-Human picked up a 7-1 victory Wednesday.
Sutherland’s last outing was a complete-game shutout in the 2014 Division III NCAA Tournament.
“He pitched the game of the year last year in the regional. He’s been our DePauw killer,” Jenkins said. “He hadn’t started in a while. To go [into the eighth inning] like that was tremendous. That was a great effort out of him.”
Sutherland relied on his off-speed pitches to work out of trouble in the early innings, stranding five runners. He then retired nine straight Tigers before allowing an eighth-inning single.
“Just come in and throw my game as usual. I have had success against them in the past but it’s a new game every time. Just throw your game and let the defense work behind you,” Sutherland said. “You just don’t let it get to your head and just keep throwing. You get better as you go along. Just settle in.”
The Rose-Hulman offense generated runs with scrappiness. The Engineers and their nearby rival were in a scoreless tie until Rose poked through with four runs in the fifth. Shortstop Drew Schnitz came through with a two-run triple to ignite the inning for Rose-Hulman.
Rose-Human relied on some depth to get the job done Wednesday at Art Nef Field. Patrick Kilma came off the bench with a hit and an RBI groundout.
“We’re a little banged up right now. It’s a credit to our young men. We got a lot of guys in there tonight. When guys get called upon, they step up and play. We played really crisp,” Jenkins said.
Donnie Waters, now hitting a team-high .379, blasted a fastball to right-center field for his second homer of the season.
“Unbelievable. He was unconscious this past weekend up at Bluffton. He’s just locked in right now. We hope to keep him that way the rest of the year,” Jenkins said.
Rose-Hulman pitcher Chuck Alexa worked out of a jam by striking out the last two batters in the eighth inning and Gunnar Hutchison finished the game out, allowing just one runner in the ninth.
Rose-Human goes into a weekend series against Mount St. Joseph needing to sweep and an Anderson loss to be the host for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament next week. The Engineers need one win to clinch a berth in the league tournament as the top four teams qualify and all four are within one game of one another in the standings.
“We’re hoping to take care of business and get a little help from Anderson,” Jenkins said.