Late Rally Falls Short as Widener Tops Rose-Hulman


KovacsSJFCWINTER HAVEN, FLA. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but two key strikeouts from Jason Brooke thwarted the rally as Widener University topped the Engineers 10-5 on Monday in Florida.

Widener broke open a 6-5 game with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Rose-Hulman answered in the ninth by reaching on a fielding error, recording a single by senior Neil Krueger (Beach Park, Ill./Zion Benton) and adding another single by senior Michael Kovacs (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) (pictured) to load the bases.

Jason Brooke recorded two key strikeouts, then retired sophomore Donald Stopka (Grayslake, Ill./Carmel Catholic) on a deep flyout for the final out.

Kovacs, Stopka and sophomore Bobby Newman (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) slapped two hits each for the Engineers, with Newman scoring one run.  Kovacs added a stolen base and an RBI, with Stopka contributing one RBI.  Junior Will Burchett (Mokena, Ill./Providence Catholic) added one run and a double.

Senior Nick Rumpke (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming) enjoyed a strong middle three innings, retiring nine of 10 batters, before allowing five runs in five innings of work in a return to the mound after missing the 2010 season due to injury.

Rose-Hulman scored one run in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings to turn a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 contest entering the bottom of the eighth frame.  The Engineers stand 2-1 on their annual Florida trip, while Widener improved to 3-1 with the victory.  Rose-Hulman squares off with Milwaukee School of Engineering on Tuesday.