Tigers Suffer First Regional Loss; Return to Diamond in Elimination Game Tonight

Tigers Suffer First Regional Loss; Return to Diamond in Elimination Game Tonight

Moline, Ill. - DePauw put together its best offensive output of the NCAA Regional, but the Tigers couldn't cool off the St. Thomas bats as the Tommies stayed undefeated in the regional with a 14-8 win.

DePauw dropped to 25-20 and faces the winner of this afternoon's Buena Vista/Rose-Hulman game in a 7 p.m. CDT elmination game tonight. The Tommies, ranked sixth in Division III, improved to 36-7 and will play for the regional title tomorrow at Noon CDT.

The Tommies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Ben Podobinski led off with a single to left before Waylon Bemboom followed with an infield single. Jack Hogan's sacrifice bunt advanced the runners and Tim Kuzniar's sacrifice fly plated Podobinski. J.D. Dorgan followed with a single to short that brought home Bemboom.

Brady Johnson led off the St. Thomas second with a single and Nick Degen followed with a sacrifice bunt. Sam Miller flied out to right, moving Johnson to third. After Podobinski walked, Bemboom singled home Johnson. Hogan was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Tim Kuzniar followed with a two-run double to right center. Dorgan made it 7-0 after driving in two more with a double down the left field line.

Johnson reached on an error to lead off the third and moved to third on a pair of ground outs before scoring on Podobinski's single.

DePauw reached the board in the third when Michael Hartnagel led off by being hit by a pitch and Robbie Stein followed with a single to center. Cory Meixner was hit by a pitch to load the bases and a wild pitch allowed Hartnagel to score. Stein crossed home on Pashia's grounder.

The Tigers tacked on two more in the fourth when Ryan Grippo and Tyler Wade each singled and advanced a base on J.B. McCallum's ground out. Hartnagel then made it 8-4 with a single to right center.

DePauw put the first two runners on in the sixth as Connor Einertson led off by being hit by a pitch and Ryan Grippo walked. Einertson went to third on an errant throw on an attempted pick off by the St. Thomas catcher and scored on Wade's bunt.

After being held scoreless for three straight innings, St. Thomas added four more in the seventh when Kuzniar drove in one with a bases-loaded single and Dorgan added a sacrifice fly. Kelvin Stroik then delivered a two-out, two-run single to center to extend the lead to 12-4.

Stein led off the DePauw seventh with a single and Starr reached on a walk before Brendon Pashia doubled down the left field line scoring Stein and making it 12-5.

The Tommies put two more on the board for insurance in the ninth when Hogan singled and Dorgan homered to left.

DePauw's final runs came in the ninth as Starr reached on an error and pinch-hitter Ryan Hurston singled him to second. Pashia's ground out advanced the runners and Einertson drove in Starr with a single to right. Grippo reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Hurston to score.

DePauw totaled 12 hits with Stein leading the way with three, while Hartnagel and Grippo each collected two.

Dorgan and Podobinski each had four of the Tommies' 18 hits, while Bemboom and Kuzniar each added three. Dorgan drove in six and Kuzniar followed with four. The top five in the St. Thomas lineup went a combined 15-for-22.

Riley Futterknecht suffered his first collegiate loss and dropped to 4-1, while St. Thomas reliever Caleb Fernholz improved to 4-1 and Tommy Danczyk collected his ninth save.