Tigers pounce on Panthers

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In DePauw's baseball game against visiting Hanover Saturday, the contest proved to be a truly a 'what you can do, I can do better' scenario. The Tigers edged the Panthers 7-6, with senior Mike Stout providing some late inning heroics.

DePauw found itself staring at a two-run deficit entering the bottom of the seventh inning, but an RBI from senior Justin Weiner cut the lead to one at 6-5. Taylor Hoffman found his way on base, bringing up the big bat of Stout.

The senior had already sent a ball over the fence in the bottom of the third to give the Tigers the lead and he had the chance to repeat the feat in the seventh. Stout stepped into the box, readied and sent the Hanover offering screaming over the left-field fence, giving DePauw the lead for good at 7-6.

"It was obliviously big, but it was especially big because he had a tough day yesterday," Tigers head coach Matt Walker acknowledged. "He's a great offensive player for us and hasn't had the beginning of the season he's wanted to at the plate. He' a guy that we know is going to get hot and come through for us."

The Tigers collected three home runs on the day. Stout had two and freshman Rob McPike sent a high bomb to centerfield in the bottom of the sixth.

With the season young and DePauw posting a 6-3 record, pitching will be essential for their continued success. Walker believes all the components are in place; it's just a matter of getting everybody up to speed.

"We are very excited about the talent we have" Walker said. "We know that we're going to have to grow up because we are young. I told the guys that we're going to have to go through some growing pains and do that while winning games; we can't afford not to win games while doing it. We have a little bit of a learning curve, but they are doing well."

The Tigers will embark on a 12-game road trip, not returning home until April 4. Next weekend opens SCAC play for DePauw and Walker knows that everything is about to get amped up.

"Once this weekend is over, it begins conference for the first time, so everything is heightened," he explained. "The intensity, the competition, the practices -- everything just is naturally heightened. The key for us is to continue to worry about ourselves a little bit more than our opponents, because we have to keep getting better at what we do because we play a unique brand of baseball."

DePauw will travel to Rhodes for two games beginning Saturday at noon.

At Walker Field

Hanover College 200 001 300 -- 6 9 2

DePauw University 201 001 30X -- 7 12 1

WP -- Ross (1-0)

LP -- Kahl (0-3)

2B -- Weiner, Holy (DPU), Pappano (Hanover)

3B -- Hoffman (DPU)

HR -- Stout 2, McPike (DPU), Neumann 2

Next game -- DePauw will travel to Rhodes for two games beginning Saturday at noon.