TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology advanced to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament championship round with a 4-2 win over Earlham College on Friday afternoon at Art Nehf Field.
Senior Karson Nixon pitched 6 1/3 innings and scattered seven hits with five strikeouts to improve to 7-2 on the season. Senior Gunnar Hutchison and freshman Chuck Alexa helped hold the Quakers scoreless until junior Cody Sunderhaus pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
Offensively, Rose-Hulman had 11 hits that were all in the first five innings. Senior Patrick Klima, senior Caleb Kissel and junior Zach Trusk had two hits each to lead the offense. Klima had a double, one run and one RBI, Kissel contributed one run and Trusk contributed an RBI to the performance.
Howie Smith tossed a complete game for Earlham with three strikeouts. Nate Lynch and Ethan Bailey led the Earlham offense with two hits each.
Rose-Hulman scored two runs in the third and two more in the fourth to gain the early lead. Nixon pitched out of bases loaded jams in the first and fifth with key pitches, and the Engineers also turned one double play in the win.
Rose-Hulman advances to the HCAC Championship Round on Saturday at noon against an opponent to be determined later tonight. The Fightin' Engineers will need a win either at noon or in a potential second game on Saturday to advance to the NCAA Tournament with a league tournament title.