ANDERSON — Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.
Heberling's clutch hit scored Kyle Otolski with one out and set off a brief team celebration near the third-base line. The win was crucial for the Ravens (19-11, 12-7 HCAC) in a tight conference race.
AU now has a one-game lead over the Engineers (17-13, 11-8) for second place and a two-game lead over Earlham (18-14, 10-9) and Bluffton (18-15, 10-9) for the sixth and final spot in the postseason conference tournament.
Franklin (19-13, 10-8) and Transylvania (16-16, 10-8) also are part of the pack chasing conference-leader Manchester (21-11, 15-4) with just under two weeks remaining in the regular season. The Ravens have the benefit of playing at Don Brandon Field for the remainder of their conference slate, hosting Hanover for three games this weekend and Earlham for three next weekend.
"We were a little disappointed to lose a series at home this weekend against Bluffton," Anderson coach David Pressley said. "We want to own this place. Having the last at-bat, today really showed how important that is."
Otolski was hit by a pitch to lead-off the 11th inning, and Connor Morris advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Heberling followed by lacing a single between first and second base to end the game.
The former Highland and Anderson High School star finished 3-for-6 at the plate to pace a Ravens offense that was outhit 11-8 by the visitors.
Rose-Hulman took a 3-0 lead in the third inning on RBI singles by Caleb Kissel and Kevin Fansher and a throwing error by Heberling behind the plate. Anderson got one run back in the fourth when Heberling's high school teammate, Jordan Ball, drew a bases-loaded walk.