DePauw sweeps Little Giants

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The DePauw University baseball team was back in North Coast Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon taking on league rival Wabash College. The Tigers hung on to a 4-3 victory in game one and battled back to win the nightcap by a final score of 16-7.

DePauw improved to 13-16 on the year and 10-4 in the NCAC, while the Little Giants dropped to 11-18 overall and 3-7 in NCAC play.

Connor Einertson got the Tigers' scoring started in the opener, hammering a pitch over the outfield wall in the top of the second inning. DePauw would take a 2-0 run in the fifth as Tate Stewart reached on a bunt single and moved to second on Reid Pittard's sacrifice bunt. Ryan Grippo delivered an RBI single to center, plating Stewart.

In the top of the sixth, Collin Henry reached on an error with two outs in the inning. Stewart followed with a single up the middle and Pittard singled to right to load the bases. It was Grippo again who provided an RBI single to center.

Leading 3-0, the Tigers looked to add another insurance run in the top of the seventh. Lucas Italiano hit a leadoff single to right center and Ryan Allee reached on a fielder's choice with an error, putting two on for DePauw. Einertson hit a ground ball to second, retiring Allee on the force, but the errant throw to first allowed Italiano to score on the play.

Through the first six innings, Tiger starter Jack Peck had allowed just four hits and only one Little Giant had reached third. However, Wabash would not go quietly as Clint Scarborough hit a double to start the seventh. Tyler Owensby followed with a single and Tyler Hampton hit a bases-clearing triple to right. Hampton would score on a wild pitch and Cole Harlacher hit a one-out single through the right side.

Peck calmed his nerves and retired pinch-hitter Christian Vukas on strikes. Harlacher was able to steal second, putting the tying run just 180 feet away. Lucas Stippler stepped to the plate and worked the count to 2-2. Peck fired a fastball low and away and Stippler fanned on it, sealing the DePauw victory.

The senior lefty picked up his second complete-game victory of the year, moving to 3-3 overall. Peck tossed just 80 pitches, allowing eight hits and three runs with six strikeouts and no walks.

Jensen Kirch fell to 2-4 on the year, tossing six innings with 11 hits, three strikeouts and four runs (two earned).

In game two, the Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead as they tallied three hits in the opening frame. Pittard singled to left and scored on Italiano's double down the right field line. Allee singled, moving Italiano to third and Einertson hit a sacrifice fly to left, plating Italiano.

Wabash answered with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Owensby hit an RBI fielder's choice and David Oliger stole home on a double steal with runners on first and third. Andrew Rodgers followed with an RBI double and Harlacher knocked in the Little Giant's fifth run with an RBI single to right center. A throwing error by Stewart allowed Justin Green to reach safely and Harlacher to scamper home.

Trailing 5-2, DePauw battled back to tie the contest in the top half of the third. Pittard doubled down the left field line and would score on Italiano's single to left center. Italiano stole second and scored on Allee's double to right center. Einertson drew a walk and following a wild pitch Cory Meixner hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Allee.

The Tigers added two runs in the top of the fourth on Italiano's single down the right field line, plating Pittard and Stewart. In the fifth, Allee doubled to center to start the inning and would later score on Henry's two-out infield single to short.

Following a Wabash run in the fifth, DePauw held an 8-6 lead entering the top half of the seventh. Allee reached on an error to start the inning and was along for the ride as Meixner homered to left field, putting the Tigers in front by a score of 10-6.

The Little Giants pushed a run across in the bottom of the eighth, but DePauw answered with six runs in the top of the ninth to put the contest out of reach. Italiano walked to leadoff and moved to third on Allee's single. Einertson hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Italiano for the Tigers first run of the inning.

With two outs, Allee stole second and scored on Jack Thompson's single to right. Thompson then stole second and scored on Henry's single to left center. Stewart singled up the middle and Pittard followed with an RBI double to left, plating Henry. Grippo knocked in Pittard and Stewart with a double to left, wrapping up the Tigers' scoring.

Wyatt Spector picked up the win, moving to 2-3 on the year after pitching 5.2 innings with 12 hits, two walks, two strikeouts and six runs allowed. Andrew Quinn closed out the sixth and pitch a scoreless seventh in relief. Eric Steele pitched in the eighth, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, while Nick Horvath tossed a scoreless ninth.

On the day, Italiano totaled six hits and four RBI to lead the Tigers. while Pittard added five hits, Allee collected four hits and Grippo tallied four RBI.

Matt Bowman dropped to 0-2 for the Little Giants, tossing two innings in relief with three runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks.

DePauw's scheduled doubleheader tomorrow against Wabash has been postponed due to expected bad weather. The two teams will finish their series on Tuesday, starting at 1 p.m. in Crawfordsville.

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