Terre Haute, IN – Sunday morning belonged to Trey Simpson and the Transylvania baseball team against the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers, as the Pioneers collected a 7-4 win at Art Nehf Field.
The bats appeared for the Pioneers on Sunday, who outhit host Rose-Hulman 14 to 4. After a 4-for-4 day in the opening game of the series, the leadoff hitter Simpson had another busy day at the plate for Transylvania with a 3-for-5 performance.
Simpson continued his all-around prowess as he got the Game Three start on the mound and went five innings, nabbing five strikeouts along the way.
Simpson had a near perfect day in his five innings on the hill, retiring the side in each of the first four innings. Still, the Pioneers could not find an opening in the Engineers defense until the top of the fourth.
Transylvania made the most of their first prime scoring opportunity in the game as Connor Blevins led off the fourth inning with a base hit, and Kody Ross next drew a walk. Blake Hart did his job with a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners to second and third base, setting up Taylor Henley for one of the key plays of the game. Henley belted a three-run homer for a 3-0 lead, and Simpson later drove in Daniel Seitzinger with an RBI double to complete a seminal four-run inning.
The Pioneers kept up the offensive pressure upon Rose-Hulman in the seventh and eighth innings where they scored three more runs. The Pios took advantage of a throwing error that was responsible for advancing Seitzinger all the way to third base after a base hit in the seventh; An Aaron Johnson groundout drove in Seitzinger for a 5-0 advantage.
In the eighth, the Pioneers again put multiple runners on base. Taylor Henley's base hit drove in Kody Ross, and a sacrifice fly by Hunter Jones to center field had the distance to allow Hart to tag up from third and make his way home to push Transylvania's lead to seven.
Intrigue thickened in the bottom of the ninth, and for a nitty-gritty frame, it looked like the Pioneers might need every bit of the seven-run lead. Rose-Hulman led off the bottom of the ninth inning by loading the bases off two singles, and the Engineers' third batter of the frame, Caleb Kissel, was hit by a pitch.
The threat of a deep comeback intensified when Zach Trusk's hard shot was mishandled at shortstop to score two, making a 7-2 game in favor of the Pioneers with no outs. Closer Kameron Schwartz then hit Drew Schnitz with a pitch to again load the bases, and another error on the ensuing at-bat scored another runner for a 7-3 game and the Pioneers still needing three outs to escape.
But quickly the magic for Rose-Hulman was extinguished as Josh Koutnik was induced into a 6-4-3 double play as Trusk scored from third for a 7-4 Transylvania cushion.
Schwartz then closed down operations promptly as he struck out Donnie Waters for the third and suddenly rapid out of the ninth to secure Transylvania's much-needed win. Simpson obtained the win for the Pioneers as his personal record improved to 3-1. Schwartrz and Adam Boone teamed up for the final four innings of the contest and allowed just one earned run between the two and two strikeouts. The Pioneers dealt Engineer starter Daniel Sutherland his first loss of the season after scoring four earned runs against the junior.
Following the series the Pioneers moved to 11-13 overall, and 7-5 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings. They now look forward to the next episode of their ongoing midweek series with Hanover as they host the Panthers at Marquard Field on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
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