N. MANCHESTER, IND. -- Manchester College kept its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament hopes alive with a 7-6 victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Sunday.
Anderson University moved one-half game ahead of Rose-Hulman in the HCAC baseball standings due to its 2-0 victory over Mount St. Joseph on Sunday.
Anderson stands 17-5 in HCAC play with three games remaining next week at Franklin. Rose-Hulman has a 16-5 mark in league games and hosts Earlham in a three-game series next week.
The top four teams in the final standings will compete in the May 10-12 tournament that will be hosted by the league champion.
With the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Corey Marchant opened the frame with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Jordan Nieman. Trevor Kimm slapped a two out single to move the Spartans to 12-10 and one game behind fourth-place Transylvania in league play.
Bryce Murphy picked up the win for Manchester with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to move to 6-2 on the season.
Offensively, senior Will Burchett (Mokena, Ill./Providence Catholic) led Rose-Hulman with a single, double, two runs scored and two RBIs. Sophomore Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) also had a single and a double with two RBIs and one run scored.
Other Fightin' Engineers with multiple hits included junior Donald Stopka (Grayslake, Ill./Carmel Catholic) with two singles and one RBI; and senior Jamie Weinle (Harrison, Ohio/Olney C.C.) with a single, double and one run scored.
Rose-Hulman relied on a four-run fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead early in the contest. Weinle and junior Matthew Turk (Addison, Ill./Addison Trail) started the rally with back-to-back doubles. Sophomore Parker Fulkerson (Terre Haute/Holy Cross Univ.) added an RBI single, and Benitez brought home a run with a fielder's choice. Stopka capped the rally with another RBI single.
Manchester answered with five runs in the next half inning to take a 6-5 lead after five innings and set the stage for a tight battle for the rest of the game.
Rose-Hulman stands 25-11 on the season and 16-5 in HCAC play, while Manchester improved to 20-17 and 12-10 in league games.
The Fightin' Engineers host Earlham in a single game on Thursday at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader on Friday at 6 p.m. to close the regular season schedule. Rose-Hulman has clinched one of four bids to the HCAC Tournament.