Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman has captured its first regular-season conference baseball championship since 1996 and will serve as host the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament this week.
The Engineers finished their regular season at 27-12 overall and 18-6 in conference play. Rose claimed its first conference-wide regular-season title since 1996 after Franklin swept Anderson 11-0 and 3-2 on Saturday.
Rose-Hulman will face the fourth seed in the HCAC tournament Thursday at Art Nehf Field. Anderson and Franklin will square off in the day’s first game. Start times and pairings for the tournament will be announced when confirmed.
The Engineers closed their HCAC regular-season schedule with a split against Earlham on Friday night.
Rose won the opener 4-2 behind a complete-game pitching effort from freshman Ben Menich. Earlham won the nightcap by the same score in a set of games delayed an hour by rain.
In the opener, Menich scattered 10 hits with five strikeouts to improve to 6-0 for the season. Menich allowed two earned runs with two walks in the complete-game performance.
Offensively, Will Burchett led the Engineers with two singles and one run scored. Senior Jamie Weinle added a two-run double.
In the nightcap, Earlham scored once in the second inning and twice in the third to gain a 3-0 lead. One more Quaker run pushed the edge to 4-0 after five innings.
Rose-Hulman got a solo home run by Weinle and an RBI single by Andrew Benitez to move within 4-2, but T.J. Plummer recorded the final three outs for Earlham to earn the save.
Weinle finished 1 for 3 with the homer and Benitez had two singles to lead the Engineers’ offensive effort. Ethan Post allowed three unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings, Matt Green tossed 3 1/3 innings and allowed just one run and Jake Althouse shut out Earlham for the final two innings to lead the pitching effort.
2012 HCAC baseball tournament
At Rose-Hulman’s Art Nehf Field
Game 1 — No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed, time TBA
Game 2 — No. 4 seed at Rose-Hulman, time TBA
Game 3 — Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, time TBA
Game 4 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, time TBA
Game 5 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, time TBA
Game 6 — Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, time TBA
Game 7 — 30-45 minutes after Game 6 (if needed)