SAUGET, Ill. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology reached the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championship Round before falling twice to 14th ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday at GCS Ballpark.
The magical run included three straight NCAA Division III Tournament wins for the first time in program history. Rose-Hulman defeated Wartburg 7-2 on Wednesday, Washington University 6-5 on Thursday, and Wisconsin-Whitewater 8-0 on Friday to reach the Championship Round with two chances to earn a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series.
In the end, Wisconsin-Whitewater made the march to Appleton and the World Series with an 11-0 and 5-3 sweep over Rose-Hulman. In the opener, senior Patrick Klima led the Fightin' Engineers with two singles.
The nightcap featured a 5-0 lead for Wisconsin-Whitewater before Rose-Hulman closed within 5-3. Senior Donnie Waters had an RBI single, and freshman David Burnside added an RBI ground out to move the Fightin' Engineers within 5-2 after seven innings.
Senior Caleb Kissel blasted a home run to left field to close the deficit to 5-3 in the ninth, before nationally rated pitching prospect Lake Bachar recorded the final three outs for Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Rose-Hulman completed the season with a record of 32-13 and its second run to the NCAA Division III Central Regional Championship Round in the last three years. The Fightin' Engineers reached the Regional Championship Round in 2014 at Augustana, before duplicating the feat this season in an event hosted by Webster.
Rose-Hulman's class of 14 seniors also earned six NCAA Division III Tournament victories in their two trips to the Regional Championship Round. The decorated senior class included Kody Alayon, Nevin Fansher, Hazen Hamather, Zach Hull, Gunnar Hutchison, Patrick Klima, Caleb Kissel, Josh Koutnik, Alec McNally, Karson Nixon, Andrew Stull, Daniel Sutherland, Donnie Waters and Evan Witsken.
NCAA Division III Central Regional Tournament Bracket:
Wednesday May 18
Game 1 — Wisconsin-Whitewater 11, Westminster (Mo.) 4
Game 2 — Rose-Hulman 7, Wartburg 2
Game 3 — Washington (Mo.) 8, Augustana (Ill.) 0
Thursday May 19
Game 4 — Wartburg 8, Westminster (Mo.) 0
Game 5 — Wisconsin-Whitewater 15, Augustana (Ill.) 3
Game 6 — Rose-Hulman 6, Washington (Mo.) 5
Friday May 20
Game 7 — Rose-Hulman 8, Wisconsin-Whitewater 0
Game 8 — Washington (Mo.) 5, Wartburg 1
Game 9 — Wisconsin-Whitewater 9, Washington (Mo.) 8 (14 innings)
Saturday May 21
Game 10 — Wisconsin-Whitewater 11, Rose-Hulman 0
Game 11 — Wisconsin-Whitewater 5, Rose-Hulman 3
Wisconsin-Whitewater advances to NCAA D-III World Series
Rose-Hulman reaches Regional Championship Round for second time ever (2014, '16)