WASHINGTON, Pa. – The eighth-ranked College of Wooster baseball team pulled within one in the sixth inning at 3-2, but could not muster enough offense together as North Coast Athletic Conference peer DePauw University knocked the Fighting Scots out of the 2017 NCAA Div. III Mideast Regional 13-4 on Saturday afternoon at Ross Memorial Park. The game came one week after Wooster topped DePauw to win its league-leading 17th NCAC title.
"To say the least, that was a tough one", said head coach Tim Pettorini. "I know we were ready to play and I thought our guys gave great effort. Give their guy credit, I thought he pitched a really solid game. DePauw got hits. Much like we did last weekend against them, every ball we hit found the hole. This weekend every ball they hit found the hole. That's baseball, that's the way it works."
DePauw (33-12) struck first in the top of the third inning thanks to a solo home run by senior Mike Hammel. An inning later, the Tigers were on the prowl again as back-to-back base knocks from senior Tate Stewart and freshman CJ Yoannou set the stage for a RBI groundout off the bat of sophomore Elliot Shebek and a run-scoring single by freshman Brayden White.
DePauw was in position to pounce for more in the top of the fifth inning after three straight one-out singles, but Stewart's grounder found its way into the waiting glove of sophomore Michael Wielansky, who started the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Wielansky carried his stellar play over to the plate when he crushed a 0-1 pitch from sophomore Grant Rademacher out to left field to make it 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Notable, Wielansky touched home for the 69th time of the season on the round-tripper, and moved into Wooster's top five list with the run marking the most since former All-American Matthew Johnson scored 69 times in 2010.
Earlier in the game, Wielansky moved into Wooster's top 10 list for single-season hits with his fourth inning single. In fact, that single helped score Wooster's first run as it followed on the heels of a leadoff single by sophomore Jacob Stuursma, who scored later in the inning on a passed ball.
DePauw answered Wielansky's round-tripper in the top of the seventh as the Tigers' first four batters reached safely in the inning with Collin Einertson delivering a RBI base knock and Yoannou knocking in a second run with a bases-loaded fielder's choice to make it 5-2.
The Tigers stuck again for four runs in the eighth inning to break the game wide open at 9-2, and later trotted four more runs across in the ninth.
Sophomore Chandler Dippman provided a little spark for the Scots with a one-out two-bagger in the bottom of the eighth inning, and he later scored on a fielder's choice by Stuursma. In the ninth inning, senior Ryan Ostendorf knocked a RBI single into the right center gap in his final collegiate at bat.
Noteworthy, senior Michael Whitaker capped his career tied for fourth on the all-time Div. III list for relief appearances with 94. Also of note, senior Jamie Lackner broke Wooster's single-season putouts record in the first inning when he moved past Chris Mihin's 1997 total of 418.
Offensively, Lackner finished 1-for-4 at the plate in his final collegiate game, and capped his All-American career with 229 career hits, a total eighth in program history.
Einertson led the way for DePauw with a 4-for-6 game with two runs and two RBI. DePauw also had three hits each from Hammel and senior Jack Thompson. Rademacher improved to 3-0 and struck out seven in his 5 2/3 innings of work.
Wooster's finished the season with a 36-10 record.