Baseball Splits Twinbill with Earlham, Awaits HCAC Fate (1)


MenichFLATERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology closed the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season baseball schedule with a split against Earlham College on Friday.

Rose-Hulman won the opener 4-2 behind a  complete game pitching effort from freshman Ben Menich (Prospect, Ill./Mount Prospect).  Earlham won the nightcap by the same score in a set of games delayed an hour by rain.

With the split, Rose-Hulman awaits the results of this weekend's three-game series between Anderson and Franklin to determine whether the Fightin' Engineers will host the HCAC Tournament next week.

Rose-Hulman would host the tournament on May 10-12 and win its first regular season conference championship since 1996 if Franklin wins two or more games over Anderson in a three-game series set for Saturday and Sunday.

In the opener, Menich scattered 10 hits with five strikeouts to improve to 6-0 on the season.  Menich allowed two earned runs with two walks in the complete game performance.

Offensively, senior Will Burchett (Mokena, Ill./Providence Catholic) led the Engineers with two singles and one run scored.  Senior Jamie Weinle (Harrison, Ohio/Olney C.C.) added a two-run double for Rose-Hulman.

In the nightcap, Earlham scored once in the second inning and twice in the third to gain a 3-0 lead.  One more Quaker run pushed the edge to 4-0 after five innings.

Rose-Hulman relied on a home run by Weinle and an RBI single by sophomore Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) to move within 4-2, but T.J. Plummer recorded the final three outs for Earlham to earn the save and secure the victory.

Weinle finished 1-3 with a home run, and Benitez had two singles to lead the Engineer offensive effort.  Junior Ethan Post (Rockford, Mich.) allowed three unearned runs in 3.2 innings, junior Matt Green (Lemont, Ill.) tossed 3.1 innings and allowed just one run, and freshman Jake Althouse (Converse, Ind./Oak Hill) shut out Earlham for the final two innings to lead the pitching effort.

Rose-Hulman completes the regular season at 27-12 and 18-6 in league play.  The seeding for the HCAC Tournament, and the site and game times will be published on the Rose-Hulman website when confirmed later this weekend.