DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on its third straight strong pitching performance to complete a baseball series sweep with a 3-1 victory at Defiance College on Sunday.
With the win, Rose-Hulman moved to 3-0 in conference play and is tied with Hanover for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.
Sophomore Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) tossed a complete-game five-hitter in his first college start on the mound. Akard scattered five hits and allowed no earned runs with five strikeouts to pick up the victory.
The pitching effort helped Rose-Hulman complete a series sweep at Defiance in which the Engineers allowed just four runs in three games.
Offensively, Rose-Hulman scored twice in the sixth inning and once in the ninth to rally from a 1-0 deficit and earn the victory. Senior Will Burchett (Mokena, Ill./Providence Catholic) and junior Jordan Chipka (Waterville, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) led the Engineer offense with a single and one run scored each.
Defiance led 1-0 after five innings, before Rose-Hulman took a 2-1 lead with two runs in the single. Burchett and Chipka opened the inning with singles, and Burchett scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Akard. Sophomore Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) brought home Chipka with the second run on an RBI ground out.
In the ninth, Rose-Hulman added an insurance run for the final margin of victory. Junior Matthew Turk (Addison, Ill./Addison Trail) walked and moved to second on a pass ball. Senior Jamie Weinle (Harrison, Ohio/Olney C.C.) struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. On the play, a throwing error by the Defiance catcher allowed Turk to score the third and final run of the day.
Rose-Hulman improved to 12-4 overall and 3-0 in conference play, while Defiance dropped to 6-9 and 0-3 in league games. The Fightin' Engineers host Bluffton in a three-game HCAC series on Friday and Saturday.