Rose-Hulman Baseball Holds Off Franklin 6-4


AkardpitchFRANKLIN, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology jumped out to an early lead, then withstood a late Franklin College rally to earn a 6-4 baseball victory in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Tuesday.

Rose-Hulman scored four times in the second inning and led 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Franklin answered with one run in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth to move within 6-4, before sophomore Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) picked up the last four outs for his fourth save.

Senior Jim Bob Schuler (Salem/North Harrison) pitched a strong six innings to earn the win and move to 6-2 on the season.  Schuler scattered five hits with five strikeouts in the victory.

Rose-Hulman held a 6-3 lead entering the bottom of the eighth, before Franklin scored once and loaded the bases with one out.  Akard forced an infield pop out and a fielder's choice to squelch the rally, then retired the side in the ninth.

Offensively, Rose-Hulman pounded out 13 hits and five players had multiple hits for the Fightin' Engineers.  Junior Matthew Turk (Addison, Ill./Addison Trail) led Rose-Hulman with three singles, two RBIs and one run scored.

Rose-Hulman players with multiple hits included senior Will Burchett (Mokena, Ill./Providence Catholic) with two singles and one RBI; Akard with a single, double and two RBIs; sophomore Donald Stopka (Grayslake, Ill./Carmel Catholic) with two singles and one run scored; and sophomore Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii) with two singles and one run scored.

Sophomore Bobby Newman (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) added a double and scored two runs for the Engineers.

Rose-Hulman relied on a four-run second inning for the majority of its offense.  Turk, Stopka and Benitez opened the inning with consecutive singles.  Sophomore Parker Fulkerson (Terre Haute/Holy Cross U.) added an RBI single, then Burchett brought home the second run of the frame.  Akard capped the rally with a two-run double.

Rose-Hulman improved to 20-8 overall and 11-3 in HCAC play, while Franklin dropped to 21-8 and 9-6 in league games.  The Fightin' Engineers hit the road for a three-game series at Transylvania University on Saturday and Sunday.