Chillicothe, Ohio – DePauw rode a wave of highs and lows in their opening game of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday but nothing could top senior Zack Wade's walk off two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to send the Tigers to a 5-4 win over Oberlin.
The bottom of the ninth started with two quick outs before Joey Plesac drew a walk. Pinch runner Noah Salasky became an integral part of the inning, advancing to second on a failed pickoff attempt and later stealing third.
Wade then singled up the middle, starting the celebration for the Tigers.
Wade finished with a team-high three hits going 3-for-5 with a double. Jack Thompson finished 2-for-3 including an RBI triple in the first.
DePauw looked in control for the first five innings, holding a 4-0 lead behind a solid pitching performance from Mike Hammel. Hammel allowed just one hit through five innings, but Oberlin finally got to him in the next two innings.
After allowing a run in the sixth, Hammel opened the seventh and failed to record an out. He was charged with the three runs that scored in the inning. His final line in the no decision was six innings, four earned runs, five hits and six strikeouts.
Grant Rademacher entered in relief, and while he allowed his inherited runners to score, he still got DePauw out of a tough situation in the seventh to keep it a 4-4 game. He came back out in the eighth but was relieved after giving up two hits and recording one out.
Freshman Brayden White came on and proceeded to leave runners on first and second by striking out the two batters he faced. He came back in for the ninth and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning to pick up his first collegiate win.
While Wade came through to hit the game winner, DePauw left 13 runners on base including leaving the bases loaded twice to end an inning. DePauw collected 10 hits, but Wade's single was also the team's first since the fifth inning.
It was DePauw's 30th win of the season. They sit at 30-9 overall. Oberlin drops to 22-19.
The Tigers will play Wooster in the first game at noon Friday. The winner advances to the championship game, while the loser will play either Denison or Oberlin at 7 p.m. in another attempt to reach the final round.