Baseball Team Defeats Westminster 9-2

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TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology baseball team opened its 2012 home schedule with a 9-2 victory over Westminster College Sunday.

The Engineers were led by sophomore Hank Akard (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) who went 3 for 5 on the day including a triple in the first inning.  He also scored two runs. 

Sophomores Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) and Bobby Newman (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) and junior Matthew Turk (Addison, Ill./Addison Trail) added two hits each.  Turk also scored two runs for Rose-Hulman. 

Senior Jim Bob Schuler (Salem, Ind./North Harrison) allowed just five hits in seven innings for his third win of the year. 

The Engineers took an early lead when Akard opened up their first inning with a triple and scored on a two-out double by Newman. 

After the Blue Jays tied the game in the second, Rose-Hulman scored six runs in the fourth inning,  Two singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases before another hit by pitch scored junior Donald Stopka (Grayslake, Ill./Carmel Catholic).  An error by the Wesminster shortstop allowed Turk to score and senior Jamie Weinle (Harrison, Ohio/Olney C.C.) scored on an Akard single for the first three Engineer runs of the inning.  With the bases loaded, a passed ball allowed three more runs to score while the catcher had trouble finding the ball.

Westminster added another run in the fifth before the Engineers added two more runs in the seventh inning for the 9-2 final.

Rose-Hulman honored Lt. Col. Raul Benitez before the game as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.  Benitez was serving in the Special Forces in Iraq at this time last year and threw the pitch to his son, Andrew.

The Fightin' Engineers stand 6-3 overall this season and return to action Monday evening as they will again face Westminster College at Art Nehf Field.  The Blue Jays fell to 3-7 on the year.