AJ Reid ’24 connects solidly on an inside pitch against Illinois Wesleyan University on March 26, 2023, at Goodrich Ballpark. Photo by Jake Paige ’23.

Coming off an impressive sweep of Indiana Wesleyan University, the Little Giants looked to capitalize on their momentum at Rose-Hulman on Wednesday, March 29. However, despite success at IWU, the team’s performance against Rose-Hulman was anything but successful, losing 6-0.

AJ Reid ’24 was on the bump for the Little Giants, facing off against Rose-Hulman’s Korey Marlow. Reid gave way to Henry Birk ’26 after giving up the lead early in the bottom of the third inning. Although the game remained close in the opening four innings, with Rose Hulman maintaining a one-run lead after a third inning RBI single by second-basemen Colter Couillard-Rodak, the Fighting Engineers erupted in the fifth and sixth innings to extend their lead to 6-0. 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Rose-Hulman connected multiple RBI singles to bring in three runners. Then, in the sixth inning, Couillard-Rodak struck again with a home run, directly followed by another solo shot by designated hitter Ben Christiansen. After that, Rose-Hulman‘s offense cooled down. The Fightin’ Engineers finished with 10 hits and additionally had six walks, but were wasteful, leaving 11 runners on base.

On the other hand, Wabash’s bats were relatively tame. The Fightin’ Engineers effectively silenced the Little Giants’ offense, limiting them to only five hits throughout the entire game.  

Although they did not score a run in the game, there were a couple of bright spots offensively for Wabash. Batting third in the lineup, right-fielder Kamden Earley ’24 was extremely efficient at the plate, going 2-3 with a walk in his four at-bats. Directly after Earley, first baseman Brayden Lentz ’23 batted cleanup, going 2-4 from the plate. Earley and Lentz doubled and singled.

Besides the third and cleanup hitters, however, the Little Giants struggled immensely, going 1-23 from the plate. As a result, Wabash did not capitalize on their opportunities to knock runners in, leaving seven players on base.  

Wabash’s best chance to score came in the top of the ninth inning, with Earley starting off the inning with a double. After Lentz’s groundout moved Earley to third, Will McKenzie ’26 reached base on a catcher’s interference. Then, pinch-hitter Gavin Schippert’s ’26 walk loaded the bases with one out in the inning, putting the pressure on Rose-Hulman to complete the shutout and end the game. However, Coby Stephens ’26 grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game.  

With Reid picking up the loss, Wabash dropped to 14-7 on the season. Rose Hulman improved to 10-6 on the season.

“Tonight’s loss has nothing to do with our goals,” said Earley. “I think that we have a good chance this year to play well in the conference. Yeah it’s a tough loss, but I believe that our team is ready for conference play.”

Henry Birk ’26 launches a curveball towards the plate against Illinois Wesleyan University on March 26, 2023, at Goodrich Park. Photo by Jake Paige ’23.

The baseball team opens NCAC play at Denison on Sunday, April 2, for an afternoon doubleheader. Coming off Wednesday’s defeat at the hands of Rose-Hulman, Wabash will have something to prove against the most formidable ballclub they will have faced all season. Currently, the Big Red are ranked 15th in the nation, coming off a convincing three-game sweep of Adrian College.

“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to win the conference championship, to ride out the storm of a Rose-Hulman defeat and to outlive the menace of The Bachelor’s tyranny,” said Lentz. “That is the resolve of the Wabash baseball team—every man of them. That is the will of Wally and the fighting Little Giants.”

Wabash will have to strive to limit Denison’s offensive, which made national headlines after outlasting Arcadia University 25-23 in a game that took so long it had to be suspended and continued the next day. Denison’s offensive explosion was not a fluke either, as they have scored 10 runs or more in almost half of their games.

“Even though one game has been lost and many hard hit baseballs have fallen into the grip of the Fightin’ Engineers and all the odious apparatus of Terre Haute, we shall not flag or fail,” said Lentz. “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in Denison, we shall fight on the grass and dirt, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend Goodrich Ballpark, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight in Ohio, we shall fight on the landing grounds of Greencastle, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills of Kenyon; we shall never surrender.”

After returning from Ohio, the Little Giants will have their most important doubleheader of the season on April 4 at Goodrich Ballpark. The opponent: the Team Down South.