Montana Timmons belted a lead-off double in the top of the ninth inning that eventually led to the game-winning run for Wabash in a 7-5 victory at DePauw. The Little Giants rallied from a 5-2 deficit to pick up their third win of the season.
Timmons (left) crushed a pitch to the left field wall to start the ninth inning for the Little Giants. Robby Hechinger came on the pinch run for the sophomore. Wabash watched its next two hitters retired by strikeouts before Chris Deig lifted a base hit to right field to score Hechinger (below right) with the winning run. PJ Tyson reached base on an error by the Tiger shortstop to set up runners at the corners. Tanner Coggins then added an insurance run in the inning with a single to short right to score Deig.
Andrew Swart came on to work the ninth inning in relief, retiring three of the final four batters he faced with two fly balls and a ground out to second. Swart surrendered one two-out walk while earning his first save of the season.
The game got off to a rough start for Wabash. The Little Giants gave up two runs in the opening inning to host DePauw on a pair of Tiger hits and three costly Wabash errors. The Little Giants cut the lead to one run in the third on a bases-loaded hit batsman with junior slugger John Holm at the plate. The Tigers rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning to boost the advantage back to two runs.
An RBI double by senior David Seibel in the fourth inning scored PJ Tyson to make it a 3-2 contest. DePauw (7-8) answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth before Wabash would strike again in the seventh.
Trailing 5-2, Joe Johnson started the seventh with a single to right. Brian Lares followed with another single before an error on a ground ball by Timmons loaded the bases. Holm lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Johnson. Lares moved to third on another fly ball out by John Pennington. After a hit batsman by Deig loaded the bases once again, Tyson brought two runs home to tie the game at 5-5 with a double to the left-center field gap to set up the ninth-inning heroics.
"This was a huge win for us since we are basically starting the second half of our season," Head Coach Cory Stevens said. "We just finished what we consider to be our spring training with our trip to California. Now we come back and get a big win against a rival.
"It's a great credit to our guys the way they stayed after it today. It would have been easy for them to quit midway through that game, especially after the close games that we played in California. But they didn't — they battled. We used 15 different players today, so it was a true team effort to get the win."
Johnson and Lares each finished with two hits for the Little Giants. Chris Widup picked up the victory in relief, helping Wabash snap its eight-game losing streak from its spring break trip. Widup worked two innings of scoreless baseball, walking one and striking out two DePauw batters to set the table for Swart (right). Brian Van Duyn also pitched two scoreless innings of relief without allowing a single base runner in the six batters he faced. Nate Adams pitched 2/3 of an inning with one hit and one strikeout. Luke Zinsmaster started the game, throwing 3-1/3 innings with eight hits, four earned runs, three walks, and two strikeouts.
Wabash improves to 3-10 with the victory. The Little Giants will play the opening series in their new baseball stadium — Wabash Ballpark — beginning this Saturday at 1 p.m. with two seven-inning games against Wilmington College. Wabash and the Quakers will play another two games on Sunday beginning at noon.