Baseball Battles Back to Earn Split with Carthage



stopka-carthageTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied to earn a doubleheader split against Carthage College in the 2013 baseball home opener on Saturday.

Carthage won the first game 8-6, despite a Rose-Hulman rally from a three-run deficit to force a 6-6 tie.  In the nightcap, Rose-Hulman scored twice in the seventh inning, once in the eighth and twice in the ninth to earn a 6-5 victory.

In the opener, freshman Caleb Kissel (Plainfield, Ill./North) smashed a home run to lead Rose-Hulman's seven-hit attack.  Junior Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis), senior Donald Stopka (Grayslake, Ill./Carmel Catholic) and senior Matthew Turk (Addison, Ill./Addison Trail) pitched in with two hits each.

Sophomore R.J. Carroll (Lexington, Ky./Catholic) struck out seven in 5.2 innings of work out of the bullpen to lead the pitching effort.

In the nightcap, Rose-Hulman tralied 4-1 before rallying with two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to force a 4-4 tie.  Senior Bobby Newman (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) provided a two-run single in the seventh to bring the deficit to within 4-3.  Junior Michael Bush (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Christian) singled and freshman Evan Witsken (Granger/South Bend St. Joseph) doubled to key the eighth inning rally and force the tie.

In the ninth, Carthage scored once to take a 5-4 lead before Rose-Hulman's ninth inning rally.  The Engineers took advantage of one fielding error and back-to-back singles by Stopka and Newman to load the bases with one out.  Turk tied the game with a fielder's choice, but a throwing error by the Redmen on the play allowed  sophomore Josh Hoeing (Rushville) to cross the plate with the winning run.

Newman had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs to lead the 11-hit attack in the nightcap.  Akard, Stopka and Bush recorded two hits each.

Senior Matt Green (Lemont, Ill.) tossed 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and sophomore Caleb Post (Rockford, Mich.) allowed just one run in two innings to pick up the victory.

Rose-Hulman stands 2-6 on the season, while Carthage is 1-1.  The two teams complete a three-game series with a single nine-inning game at noon on Sunday.