April 13, 2014

Late-Game Heroics Highlight Doubleheader Split with Wabash

Greencastle, Ind. - Three-run homers were the difference today at Walker Field as Connor Einertson's walkoff blast in the first game lifted DePauw to a 14-11 win and Tyler Owensby's homer in the seventh inning of the second game capped Wabash's comeback in a 5-4 win over the Tigers.

With the split, DePauw moved to 10-11 overall and 6-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference, while the Little Giants are now 15-10 overall and 6-2 in conference play.

DePauw jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first game after Michael Hartnagel led off with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Wabash put five runs on the board in the third with four going in the books as unearned after a pair of Tigers miscues.

The Tigers regained the lead with three in the third and three more in the fourth including a two-run inside-the-park homer by Zach Starr. Wabash countered with four in the sixth to gain a 9-7 advantage, but DePauw battled in the bottom half of the inning with four runs, all coming with two outs. Pinch-hitter Lucas Italiano capped the rally with a three-run double.

Owensby delivered a two-run, two-out single in the seventh to force extra innings for the scheduled seven-inning contest. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Brendon Pashia led off with a walk and moved to second on Ryan Allee's sacrifice bunt. Pinch-hitter Collin Henry drew an intentional walk before Jensen Kirch entered in relief for Wabash and Einertson hammered the first pitch over the fence in right for the win.

Allee and Cory Meixner each had three of DePauw's 11 hits with Meixner totaling three doubles. Hartnagel added two hits and three runs with Allee also scoring three times.

Tyler Hampton paced Wabash with three of its 16 hits, while Tanner Watson, Owensby, Clint Scarborough and K.J. Zelenika added two apiece. 

Pete Stuart improved to 3-3 with the win and struck out five in two innings. Christian Vukas suffered the loss and dropped to 1-3.

The Tigers again to an early lead in the second game as Ryan Grippo drove in Pashia with an infield single in the second. Wabash evened the score in the third on Watson's sacrifice fly that scored Steven Curry. 

Einertson delivered a two-run triple in the fourth that gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead. Watson's two-out single through the left side in the fifth plated Lucas Stippler and cut DePauw's lead to 3-2.

In the seventh, Curry led off with a single to left and pinch-runner Nick Oros moved to second on Stippler's sacrifice bunt. Trey Fankhauser doubled to left center with Oros advancing to third. After DePauw reliever Andrew Quinn struck out Watson for the second out, Owensby hit a 2-1 pitch off the scoreboard in left to make it 5-3.

The Tigers loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh as Allee pinch-hit and ripped a ball that deflected off the Wabash pitcher and into right field. Hartnagel singled to left and Robbie Stein walked before Starr drove in Allee with a sacrifice fly to left. The Tigers, however, couldn't extend the rally.

Hartnagel and Starr each had two of DePauw's eight hits, while Justin Green had three of Wabash's 10. Fankhauser and Curry each added a pair of hits. 

Quinn dropped to 0-1 with the loss, while Josh Piercy went the distance for the Little Giants and improved to 4-1. The Tigers turned three double plays in the game and six for the doubleheader.

The Tigers return to action on Friday, April 18, with a Noon CDT doubleheader at Washington (Mo.) University as part of a four-game series.