Tigers Earn Saturday Sweep; Heading Back to Chillicothe

Greencastle, Ind.- After a one-year hiatus the Tigers will be returning to the North Coast Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament, as they swept Oberlin taking game one, 14-2 and winning the nightcap, 13-6.

DePauw improved to 18-18 overall and 12-6 in NCAC play, while the Yeomen dropped to 17-19 on the year and 7-11 in the NCAC.

The Tigers scored early and often in game one, as they tallied a four spot in the first inning. Freshman Michal Hartnagel homered to left field to start the inning. Robbie Stein walked, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on Zach Starr's single to center field. Cory Meixner followed with a single to left, but Starr was caught stealing for the first out of the inning.

Brendon Pashia singled through the left side, moving Meixner to third. A balk plated Meixner and put Pashia on second. Conner Einertson drew a walk, prompting Oberlin to make an early pitching change. Relief pitcher Justin Kidd balked home a run and Ryan Grippo followed with an RBI ground out to make the score 4-0.

DePauw would strike again in the third inning, as they would add an insurance run. Meixner was hit by a pitch to start the frame and moved to second on Pashia's walk. Einertson flied out to center advancing Meixner to third and Grippo delivered an RBI single up the middle, plating Meixner.

Hartnagel started the bottom half of the fourth with a single to center and he scored on Stein's long-ball to right. Starr reached base on an error, but was retired at second on Pashia's fielder's choice. Einertson delivered a two-out single up the middle moving Pashia to third and Grippo reached on an error at third allowing Pashia to score.

Up 8-0 the Tigers continued to pile on scoring one run in the sixth and five in the seventh. Meixner started the sixth with a double and moved to third on Pashia's fly out to center. Einertson singled to first plating Meixner.

In the seventh, Hartnagel singled to left with one out and scored on Stein's triple. Starr followed with a double plating Stein. Collin Henry was hit by a pitch and Pashia walked to load the bases. Einertson, Grippo and Zach Wade would all follow with RBI singles to make the score 14-0.

Although the Tigers did not score in the bottom half of the eighth, Stein stepped to the plate needing a single to hit for the cycle. With one out, Stein singled through the right side to complete the impressive feat a cap off a day where he went 4-for-4 from the dish with three RBI, three runs scored and walked twice.

Oberlin managed to push across two runs in the top half of the ninth inning. Daniel Baldocchi singled to right and was thrown out on Benjamin Whitener's fielder's choice. Brian Hemmert reached on an error and Justin Cruz singled to second allowing Whitener to score. John Evans singled to right plating Hemmert and wrapping up the Yeomen's scoring.

Freshman Riley Futterknecht improved to 3-0 on the year after tossing seven innings of scoreless baseball. He worked around five walks and scattered three hits striking out five.

Julian Sawhill took the loss after lasting just one third of an inning giving up four runs on four hits and walking two.

In game two, the Tigers proved that their offensive explosion in the opener was no fluke. Oberlin tallied two runs in he second inning to take an early lead. Andrew Hutson led-off with a single to right and moved to second on Kyle Decker's sacrifice bunt. After Kevin Verne grounded out to first Blaise Dolcemaschio singled to left plating Hutson. Cruz singled to center and Ryan Bliss reached on an error allowing Dolcemaschio to score.

DePauw answered in the bottom half of the frame when Einertson hit a solo homer to right field. The Tigers would take the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs in the inning. Stein singled to right and Starr followed with a single to left. Meixner reached on a sacrifice bunt as Stein beat the throw to third. Pashia delivered a single to right plating Stein. Einertson singled to right allowing Starr to score and Ryan Allee and Grippo followed with a pair of RBI singles to make the score 5-2.

The Yeomen would flex their own muscle in the top of the sixth as Baldocchi deposited Jack Peck's offering over the right field wall for an opposite field bomb. However, the Tigers would answer with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the sixth.

Grippo singled to right to start the frame and advanced to second when JB McCallum was hit by a pitch. Hartnagel dropped down a sacrifice bunt and was safe as Oberlin starter, Mike McDonald's throw was errant, allowing McCallum and Grippo to score and moved Hartnagel to third. Stein delivered a sacrifice fly to left plating Hartnagel for DePauw's eighth run of the contest.

DePauw would put up another crooked number on the scoreboard as they tallied five runs in the eighth inning. McCallum was hit by a pitch to start the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Hartnagel reached first on an error and McCallum moved to third. Stein lined out to right and McCallum was thrown out at the plate on a very close play. With two outs, Starr doubled to center plating Hartnagel. Henry followed with a single to left center allowing Starr to score. After Pashia singled up the middle Einertson blasted a ball over the tree line in right field for a three-run smash and his fifth RBI of the game.

Oberlin would score three runs in the top of the ninth on a pair of two-out singles. Dolcemaschio singled up the middle and moved to second on Cruz's single to center. Bliss singled to load the bases and Jeff Schweighoffer singled plating Dolcemaschio. Baldocchi followed with a two-run single to round out the Yeomen's scoring.

Peck picked up the win for the Tigers going seven innings and giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out three. McDonald dropped to 6-4 on the year after going 7.2 innings giving up five earned runs on 16 hits and fanning seven. 

The two-game sweep guarantees the Tigers a spot in next weekend's NCAC Tournament in Chillicothe, Ohio. Before DePauw can focus on next weekend, they must close out their series with Oberlin tomorrow, as the teams play one nine-inning contest starting at noon.