TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology senior Donnie Waters snapped a 6-6 tie with a game-winning, two-out single in the ninth inning to lead the Fightin' Engineers to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship 7-6 over Earlham College on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Rose-Hulman advances to the NCAA Division III Tournament which begins on Wednesday. The Fightin' Engineers will learn their NCAA destination sometime Monday morning.
Rose-Hulman led 6-3 entering the ninth inning before Earlham scored three runs to tie the score at 6-6. Senior Caleb Kissel singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, before Waters hit the game winning single up the middle to lead Rose-Hulman to its fourth HCAC Tournament crown.
The two teams battled back-and-forth, exchanging one-run innings in the third and two-run innings in the fifth. Rose-Hulman broke the game open with three runs in the seventh to take a 6-3 lead, before Earlham rallied to knot the score in the ninth.
Junior Zach Trusk was named HCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player and led the offense with a double, single, one run scored, one RBI and two walks. Waters also had two hits and two RBIs, while Kissel scored three times on two hits with two RBIs.
Trusk, Waters and Kissel were joined on the all-HCAC Tournament team by Alec McNally and David Burnside following the tournament.
Earlham was led by two hits from Eric Elkus and two from Devin Spurgeon to rally back and force the tie.
Rose-Hulman senior Andrew Stull and Earlham's Matthew Mathies each allowed three runs in the first five innings, before Joey Callahan and Jonathan Banks pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Engineers. Senior Cody Sunderhaus allowed no earned runs and picked up the pitching win.
Rose-Hulman advances to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the seventh time under head coach Jeff Jenkins. The Fightin' Engineers stand 29-11 entering NCAA Division III Tournament play.
2016 HCAC TOURNAMENT RESULTS
Thursday, May 12
Game 1, Earlham 12, Transylvania 6
Game 2, Rose-Hulman 14, Manchester 2
Friday, May 13
Game 3: Rose-Hulman 4, Earlham 2
Game 4: Transylvania 7, Manchester 3
Game 5: Earlham 12, Transylvania 2
Saturday, May 14
Game 6: Rose-Hulman 7, Earlham 6