Tigers Split Sunday; Host NCAC Cross-Divisional Next Weekend

Greencastle, Ind.- The DePauw Tigers were looking to complete a four-game sweep of the visiting Wittenberg Tigers Sunday afternoon at Walker Field, but were only able to earn a split, winning game one, 9-2 and dropping the nightcap, 2-1.

DePauw sits 15-17 overall and 10-6 in North Coast Athletic Conference play, while Wittenberg is now 10-25 on the year and 3-13 in the NCAC.

Wittenberg started game one with two straight singles in the first. Zac Wilson singled to right and advanced to third on Dalton Boucher's single down the first base line. Tyler Hutchinson grounded into a double play that plated Wilson to make the score 1-0.

DePauw answered with scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Michael Hartnagel singled through the left side to lead off the inning and advanced to third when the left fielder dropped Robbie Stein's fly ball. Zach Starr doubled to right center driving in Hartnagel and Stein to put DePauw in front.

The host Tigers would never trail in game one, as they tacked on four runs in the second and two in the third. Ryan Allee reached on an error to start the second and moved to third on Pat Lyon's sacrifice bunt. JB McCallum was hit by a pitch and Hartnagel followed with a single to left to load the bases. Stein drew a bases loaded walk, forcing in Allee from third.

Starr reached first on an error that allowed McCallum to score DePauw's second run of the inning. Following a strikeout by Cory Meixner, Brendon Pashia singled through the right side driving in Stein and Hartnagel.

Up 6-1, DePauw added more insurance runs in the third started by Collin Henry who singled to lead off the frame. Henry advanced to second on a balk and Allee followed by drawing a walk. Lyons laid down his second sacrifice bunt of the day to move the runners to second and third and Hartnagel delivered a clutch, two-out double to right center that scored two.

Wittenberg added their second run in the sixth, as Wilson was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second on Boucher's ground out. Hutchinson singled to right, scoring Wilson from second to cut the deficit to four.

DePauw countered in the bottom half of the sixth scoring a run of their own. Starr was walked to start the inning and quickly got into scoring position as he swiped second. Following a pair of ground outs Henry drew and walk and pinch hitter Ryan Hurston delivered an RBI single to right, plating Starr from third.

Wyatt Spector notched his third victory of the season throwing a complete game, scattering four hits and striking out five. Tyler Powell took the loss for Wittenberg as he lasted four innings giving up just three earned runs on seven hits.

Game two proved to be a much different contest than the previous three games, as the teams would need 11 innings to decide a victor. Despite bonus baseball, neither team could find much offense, as the two teams managed just 12 hits total.

Wittenberg struck first in the top of the sixth, benefiting from a pair of walks and a key single. Trent Champlin walked to start the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wilson. Boucher drew a free pass and following a Hutchinson fly out, David Moore singled to right plating Champlin, who just slid in just before catcher, Zach Wade, could apply the tag.

DePauw would finally score in the eighth, as they were able to tie the game at one. Pinch hitter Lucas Italiano drew a one-out walk and Allee came in as a pinch runner. Connor Einertson delivered a double to right center and Allee motored around the bases sliding home just inches before a tag was applied. Einertson moved to third on the throw to the plate, but was stranded there as back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.

With the game tied at one, neither team had a man reach base in the ninth, sending the game into extras. DePauw's best chance came in the tenth inning as they had men on first and third with two outs, but were unable to push home the game-winning run as Jack Thompson was retired on a hard ground out to second.

After collecting just one hit in the previous four innings, Wittenberg managed to push a run across in the eleventh. Will Cousins reached on an error and advanced to second when Tyler Grau drew a two-out walk. Pinch hitter Aaron Patrick came through with an RBI single to right putting the visitors ahead.

DePauw went down in order in the bottom half of the inning as Henry, Marko Adams and Ryan Grippo all grounded out.

Mike Burgher picked up the win for Wittenberg, going two innings in relief and allowing just one hit. Brendan Bolander took the loss for DePauw after working three innings and scattering two hits while striking out four.

Although DePauw did not earn the series sweep, they did lock up the number two spot in the NCAC West Division with their win in game one and Wabash's loss to Ohio Wesleyan. This means that the Tigers will host the NCAC Cross-Divisional series next Saturday and Sunday against Oberlin.

Before the Tigers can look to the weekend they will play Anderson on Tuesday, April 29, at Walker Field. Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. start.