Chillicothe, Ohio - For the second time in three years, DePauw has forced the "if necessary" game of the North Coast Athletic Conference after winning a third straight elimination game, 8-5, over Wooster.
DePauw improved to 22-19 with the win, while Wooster dropped to 29-14 and the teams square off in a 5:05 championship game this afternoon.
For the fourth time in as many tournament games, the Tigers scored in the opening inning as Michael Hartnagel led off with a walk and Robbie Stein followed with a two-run homer down the right field line.
Brendon Pashia's solo homer in the fourth made it 3-0, but the Fighting Scots countered with three in the bottom half of the frame. Zac Mathie led off with a single before Brendon Taylor and Frank Vance walked. Cal Thomay's grounder scored one and Craig Day knotted the score with a two-run single.
Stein led off the fifth with a homer to right center before Zach Starr was hit by a pitch. Cory Meixner reached on a fielder's choice that forced Starr at second and Pashia followed with a double. Ryan Grippo's two-out, two-run single pushed DePauw's lead to 6-3.
Bryan Miller and Jarrod Mancine led off the Wooster seventh with singles before Eddie Reese walked to load the bases. Mathie fouled out off of DePauw reliever Michael Chiaro, but a lightning delay forced the teams off the field for 51 minutes. When they returned, Taylor reached on a fielder's choice that scored Miller and Vance singled to short allowing Mancine to come home.
The Tigers again responded as Grippo led off the eighth with a double and scored on Ryan Allee's single. J.B. McCallum's sacrifice bunt on a 3-2 count advanced Allee to second. Wooster intentionally walked Stein and Starr ripped an RBI double down the left field line to push the lead to 8-5.
Chiaro retired the side in order in the eighth and Wyatt Spector, who started yesterday, did the same in the ninth to preserve the win.
DePauw banged out 13 hits paced by Allee's three and two each from Stein, Starr, Pashia and Grippo. Mancine and Vance each collected two of Wooster's nine hits.
J.T. Timmer improved to 2-1 with the win, while Nick Buckingham dropped to 5-3.