Lexington, Ky. – The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers shut out the Transylvania baseball team 4-0 in its Saturday afternoon opener before taking a 7-4 victory over the Pioneers in an offensively-oriented second game of a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Marquard Field.
The 5-3 Pioneers clashed with the 4-0 Engineers on Saturday afternoon as each team grappled for control of the HCAC standings. Following the doubleheader, the Engineers moved to 17-8 overall and 6-0 in conference play while the Pioneers dropped to 12-18 and 5-5 in conference.
Game one featured a prime battle of two of the best pitchers in the conference as Rose-Hulman's Luke Buehler outdueled Transylvania's Jake Schmidt; Buehler fanned nine over eight innings, yielding four hits on the day while Schmidt worked through 5.2 innings, conceding three earned runs to the Engineers while striking out four.
Rose-Hulman gradually built a lead throughout game one, scoring an unearned run in the top of the second inning before plating two more runners in the following inning on an RBI double and sacrifice fly RBI to lead 3-0 after three innings.
Luke Wilson came on in relief of Schmidt in the sixth inning and continued to keep the Pioneers within striking distance as Transylvania produced three double plays on the day, including two in the first five innings. Wilson and Schmidt combined for six strikeouts in game one. But Transylvania found only one hit over the final five innings as Buehler found his fifth win of the season.
Hudson Chastain was 1-for-3 for the Pioneers with a walk drawn in game one.
The Pioneers looked to rebound in game two as they used a busy second inning to take the lead on Rose-Hulman. Though the Engineers went ahead 2-0 in the top of the first, the Pioneers turned their fourth double play of the day to thwart a greater threat.
Michael Blair led off the second inning by lifting past the fence his third home run of the year to cut Rose-Hulman's lead in half, and T.J. Keck followed by getting on base with a walk. Production continued for the Pioneers as Trey Medford was hit by a pitch and Chris Naskale drew a walk to load the bases with one out.
Henry Molloy delivered a two-run single to score Medford and Taylor, giving Transylvania a 3-2 lead, and Riley Willbur added to the lead with an RBI single into right field, bringing Molloy across home plate for a 4-2 advantage.
The Pioneers could not maintain the lead as Rose-Hulman swung back in the top of the third inning with a five-run output, three of which came by unearned fashion.
10 of Rose-Hulman's 14 game-two hits came over the first three innings as starter Collin Johnson found his rhythm through the following two innings before giving way to Max Medley, who delivered a strong extended effort over the final four innings. Medley's day consisted of no runs allowed on two hits, three strikeouts, and no walks issued.
Rose-Hulman was able to maintain their 7-4 lead on the Pioneers for the last six innings as neither team scored again. The Pioneers mounted one final rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, putting two runners aboard, but a groundout concluded the inning with the home team still trailing by three.
Chastain finished a strong day with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate with a double in game two. Johnson took the loss for the Pioneers to drop to 3-1 and tallied one strikeout, one walk, and four earned runs allowed over his five innings on the mound.
Transylvania will take a weeklong break for winter semester finals before returning to gameplay on Saturday, April 20 as the Pioneers visit HCAC opponent Anderson University. First pitch of the conference doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Don Brandon Field.
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