WINTER HAVEN, FLA. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology opened the 2013 baseball season with an 8-6 win over nationally ranked Farmingdale State to open the team's six-game Florida trip on Sunday.
Rose-Hulman received votes in the d3baseball.com preseason national poll, and Farmingdale State entered the game with a No. 25 national ranking.
The Fightin' Engineers scored five runs in the fourth inning to propel the offensive effort, with freshman Patrick Klima (South Bend/St, Joseph) providing the key hit with a three RBI, bases loaded triple.
Junior Andrew Benitez (Mililani, Hawaii), sophomore Josh Hoeing (Rushville) and senior Bobby Newman (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) slapped two hits each as part of Rose-Hulman's 11-hit attack. Freshman Evan Witsken (Granger/South Bend St. Joseph) added one single and one run scored.
The offense helped lift freshman Karson Nixon (Jasper) to a win in his college debut. Nixon came out of the bullpen to pitch three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with one strikeout.
Sophomore Jake Althouse (Converse/Oak Hill) tossed a scoreless eighth inning, and junior Hank Akard (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the year and the 10th of his career.
Rose-Hulman continues its Florida trip with a matchup against Alma College on Monday at 11 a.m.