Tigers Win Fourth Straight Elimination Game; Claim NCAC Tournament Title and NCAA Postseason
Chillicothe, Ohio - Freshman Riley Futterknecht pitched six innings of no-hit ball against Division III's third-ranked scoring offense and the three relievers who followed closed out the game as DePauw defeated Wooster, 4-2, in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship game.
With the win, DePauw also earned the NCAC's automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III Championship while improving to 23-19. Wooster dropped to 29-15 and will await word on a possible at-large berth to the tournament. The tournament field will be announced in a release on NCAA.com early on Monday, May 11. DePauw will be making its sixth trip to the NCAA postseason and second in the last three years.
Futterknecht hurled six innings and 98 pitches against the Fighting Scots in Thursday's loss and was nearly perfect today. After allowing a walk to the Wooster leadoff hitter, he didn't allow another base runner over six innings.
Meanwhile, for the first time in DePauw's five tournament games, the Tigers did not score in the first inning but did score first as Cory Meixner doubled with one out in the fourth, moved to third when Connor Einertson reached on a throwing error and scored on an error by the first baseman on the play.
Ryan Allee led off the fifth with a single and moved to second on J.B. McCallum's sacrifice bunt. Michael Hartnagel walked and both runners advanced on Robbie Stein's grounder. Zach Starr then delivered a two-run, two-out double down the left field line and lifted DePauw's lead to 3-0.
That margin reached 4-0 in the seventh as Hartnagel led off with a double and scored on Stein's single up the middle.
Wooster's lone runs came in the seventh as Jarrod Mancine led off with a double and, two outs later, scored on Zac Mathie's single up the middle. Billy Farrow followed with a double to left that brought home Mathie.
The Fighting Scots put a runner on with one out in the eighth, but DePauw turned a double play to end the threat and Wooster loaded the bases in the ninth, but a fielder's choice ended the game.
Meixner and Allee each had three of DePauw's 12 hits, while three different Wooster players collected one each.
Futterknecht improved to 4-0, while Jack Peck, Wyatt Spector and Michael Chiaro each pitched one inning in relief. Chiaro collected his second save of the season after picking up his first last night. Wooster's Steve Hagen slipped to 6-5.
The win capped a tournament in which the Tigers won four straight elimination games. The Tigers batted .372 over the course of the five games
Stein was named the tournament most valuable player after batting .522 in five games. He was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Meixner, Peck, Futterknecht and Einertson. The entire team is listed below.
2014 NCAC Baseball ALl-Tournament Team
Eric Weyant, Allegheny
Charlie Apfelbach, Denison
Connor Murphy, Denison
Eddie Reese, Wooster
Zac Mathie, Wooster
Brian Miller, Wooster
Cal Thomay, Wooster
Cory Meixner, DePauw
Jack Peck, DePauw
Riley Futterknecht, DePauw
Conner Einertson, DePauw
MVP - Robbie Stein, DePauw