RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team opens Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play against defending champion Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for a three game-series in Terre Haute this weekend.
The Series: The Quakers and Fightin' Engineers will play a doubleheader at 6 p.m. on Friday followed by a single game at noon on Saturday.
The Teams: Earlham and Rose-Hulman. The Quakers enter the game with a 5-4 record and on a four-game winning streak after a 10-9 walk-off win over Wittenberg University on Wednesday. The Engineers are 2-10 after getting swept in a three-game series by defending Ohio Athletic Conference champions Otterbein University earlier this week.
The Coaches: Steve Sakosits is in his seventh season leading the Earlham baseball program. A coach of 38 All-HCAC honorees, Sakosits is the program's all-time leader in career victories and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Jeff Jenkins, the veteran coach in the HCAC, is in his 28th season leading the Rose-Hulman baseball program.
Hitters to Watch: Senior Eric Elkus leads the HCAC in RBIs with 25. The Edgewood, Kentucky, native is second to freshman Danny Dopp (16) for most hits on the squad with 15. Freshman Isaiah Shake is tied with Elkus for the most doubles with five and has a .406 batting average. Senior Nate Lynch leads the Quakers on the base paths with 14 stolen bases. Zack Trusk leads the Engineers offensively with a .388 batting average and 19 hits. David Burnside has hit two home runs.
Pitchers to Watch: Sophomore Walter Talcott, who started his first game of the season against Wilmington last Saturday, has a perfect ERA in 5.2 innings pitched to go along with nine strikeouts. Senior Howie Smith and freshman Jordan Christian are the two Earlham pitchers to have thrown at least 10 innings. Jonathan Banks and Clayton Mayfield have under 2.00 ERAs and have both pitched over 10 inning to bolster the Engineers pitching staff.
HCAC Player of the Week Honors: Eric Elkus and senior Howie Smith were named HCAC Hitter and Pitcher of the Week respectively for games played from March 13-19. Elkus is the two-time reigning Hitter of the Week.
D3Baseball Team of the Week Honors: Eric Elkus was also named to the D3Baseball.com Team of the Week for games played from March 13-19.
Recent History: Earlham is 8-10 against Rose-Hulman since joining the HCAC prior to the 2011 season. The Engineers took two of three games from the Quakers at Sadler Stadium as well as winning two games over Ealrham in the HCAC Tournament last season.
HCAC Tournaments Past: Earlham and Rose-Hulman are two of three teams, with Manchester University being the other, which have qualified for the last two HCAC tournaments.
Coverage: Live statistics and live video of all three games will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham continues HCAC play by hosting Bluffton University for a 4 p.m. contest at Sadler Stadium on Tuesday.