Rose caps weekend with sweep of Beavers
March 22, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A 13-inning heartbreaker in game one on Saturday, March 22, clinched the series for Rose-Hulman and the Engineers capped the weekend sweep with a 7-5 victory over the Beavers. Bluffton slipped to 7-7 overall and 0-3 in the Heartland Conference, while RHIT improved to 8-4 and 3-0 in HCAC play.
After seven scoreless frames to open game one on Saturday, Bluffton broke through in the top of the eighth when freshman Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) singled home pinch runner Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) for a 1-0 lead.
Rose answered with its first tally in the home half thanks to a dose of small ball. A leadoff single, followed by a sacrifice bunt and groundout put Hank Akard on third with two outs. Andrew Benitez capitalized with an RBI single which knotted the game up again.
The pitchers' duel resumed and it was five innings later when Rose took advantage with a pair of doubles in the 13th as Bluffton suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Engineers.
Senior Ben Roeschley (Graymont, Ill./Flanagan) and freshman Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) were outstanding on the hill despite the setback. Roeschley allowed just one run over eight innings with five strikeouts and three walks. He scattered six hits while tossing 119 pitches. Bowman was saddled with the loss after giving up one run on four hits with four K's in 4.2 innings of standout relief.
Hickey had a breakout afternoon, going 4-of-5 with an RBI. Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian), Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) and Michael Alexander (Monroe) all chipped in with two safeties in the first contest.
Rose knocked game two starter Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) out in the second inning when the home team pasted a four-spot up on the scoreboard as the Beavers continued to struggle at the dish.
The visitors finally got on the board with three scores in the top of the fourth. Tyler Spalding (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) led off the frame with a two-bagger and he moved over to third when Castro singled. Hickey continued his offensive onslaught with an RBI double that plated Spalding. Mike Alexander picked up Castro with a sacrifice fly to right before freshman Blake Fox (Berne. Ind./South Adams) singled home Hickey.
Alexander pulled Bluffton even with an RBI double down the left field line in the top of the sixth, but RHIT responded in the home half when Hank Akard's three-run double cleared the bases and made the score 7-4.
The Beavers plated one with Tyler Spalding's RBI base hit and were on the verge of doing more damage in the seventh before a ground ball double play kept the score at 7-5 in favor of the Engineers.
Bluffton put two runners on in the top of the ninth, forcing a pitching change by Rose, but Alex McNally came on and got Mike Castro to ground into a forceout to record the save and complete the sweep.
Jaylen Von Sossan (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in 4.1 innings of relief. Fellow freshman Corey Johnson (Waverly) worked two shutout innings, giving up just one hit.
Spalding, Castro and David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) all chipped in with two hits. Alexander drove in two, while Spalding scored twice in game two.
Bluffton welcomes non-league foe Lourdes College to Memorial Field on Tuesday, March 25. The contest is slated for 4;15 p.m. It will be a welcome back for Tim Berta who is now an assistant coach at Lourdes.