Washington, Pa. – Seventh-seeded DePauw capped off the first day of the NCAA Division III Baseball Mideast Regional at Washington & Jefferson College by upsetting fourth-ranked and second-seeded SUNY Cortland 8-5 in a game that concluded early Friday morning.
The Tigers trailed 5-1 heading into the eighth inning and scored seven unanswered to pick up the win. Tate Stewart hit a one-out double with the bases loaded in the ninth, scoring two and breaking a 5-5 tie.
Before the at-bat Stewart was looking at a 0-4 night with four strikeouts.
"Going into the at-bat the thought was, 'can't strike out five times in a game,'" Stewart said. "With the situation that we had I really was just trying to hit the ball in the air and it just happened to be a double."
Trailing 5-1 heading into the eighth inning, DePauw loaded the bases with nobody out. Then with one out Collin Einertson laced a ball to center field that resulted in a ground-rule double, which limited DePauw to just two runs.
A sacrifice fly from C.J. Yoannou made it a 5-4 game. Yoannou also had a sacrifice fly in the ninth to give DePauw its eighth run. He finished 1-for-3 with two RBI.
After Yoannou's first sacrifice fly, coaching strategies came into play. Left-handed pinch hitter Max Cohen was announced, which brought in a left-handed reliever from the bullpen. However, it didn't matter as Cohen connected for a two-out double to right-center field to tie the game 5-5.
Grant Rademacher recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the eighth but his next two batters reached. That brought in Brayden White to get the Tigers out of the inning. White pitched a clean ninth to pick up the win.
"Those guys have been doing a phenomenal job, and they're fresh," head coach Blake Allen said of his pitchers. "We did a good job minimizing their innings throughout the year hoping for an opportunity like this."
The Tigers struggled to get going offensively against southpaw starter Patrick Merryweather, who pitched six quality innings of one run baseball. He also struck out a season-high 10 batters.
DePauw starter Riley Futterknecht was also effective. He gave up three earned runs and struck out four in 5.2 innings of work as his pitch count reached 107.
The Tigers finished with nine hits. Pittard and Einertson both finished 2-for-4. Jack Thompson was 1-for-3 with two walks.
This was the first meeting between DePauw and SUNY Cortland. It was DePauw's third straight time they've opened with a win in the tournament (2012, 2014). In 2014, they beat No. 1 Webster.
The Tigers advance to play sixth-seeded Keystone (32-13) at 7:45 p.m. Friday. Keystone defeated third seeded La Roche 5-2.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 8 seed Earlham shocked No. 1 Wooster with a 6-2 victory. In the 4-5 matchup Washington & Jefferson took care of Misericordia 12-7.