CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – The College of Wooster came back from deficits three times, with a seven-run eighth inning eventually being the difference as the Fighting Scots outlasted DePauw University 15-10 in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament opener Thursday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium.
Before Wooster (28-13) broke open the game in the eighth, it was behind 8-5 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. Eddie Reese started that rally with a single under the third baseman's glove, then Zac Mathie pulled a single into right-center, and after a fielder's choice play, the Scots loaded the bases on a Frank Vance walk. Next, Cal Thomay came up with the first of two clutch hits, dropping a two-run single into right-center, and Craig Day tied it at eight via a sacrifice fly.
The back-and-forth affair continued, as DePauw (19-19) put together some two-out magic during the top of the eighth with a walk and back-to-back hits to produce a run and 9-8 advantage.
That lead did not last long. John McLain began Wooster's half of the eighth by reaching when a flare to shallow center tipped off the shortstop's glove and Bryan Miller laid down a perfect bunt for runners on the corners with no outs and the top of the order up. Jarrod Mancine doubled to the wall in center to tie it and Reese put the Scots ahead, 11-9, on a two-run base knock up the middle.
Wooster was not done in the eighth, loading the bases when Mathie singled through the right side and Vance was intentionally walked with one out. Thomay delivered again, this time driving a 1-0 pitch deep to the right-center gap to clear the bases for a 14-9 cushion. Thomay ended up at third, marking his first career triple.
The Scots added an insurance run, then closed it out in the ninth to move on to the winners' bracket game.
Earlier in the game, Wooster used the long ball to overcome an early deficit. Brendan Taylor belted a solo homer during a two-run second inning that pulled the Scots within 3-2 and Mathie drilled a two-run shot in the fifth to knot the score at four.
Wooster took its first lead in the sixth when Thomay drew a leadoff walk on four pitches, Day executed a sacrifice bunt, and Miller lined a two-out single into right-center.
The Tigers answered back with their biggest inning of the game, plating four in the seventh for the aforementioned 8-5 advantage.
Mathie and Thomay paced the Scots' offensive attack, the former with three hits (3-for-5 with two RBI) and the latter with five RBI (2-for-3 with two walks), while Mancine, Reese, and Miller each went 2-for-5.
DePauw's Cory Meixner led all players with four hits (4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI).
Wooster's second reliever, Michael Whitaker, recorded the win (3-0), pitching the eighth inning.
The Scots will play the winner of Thursday night's game between Allegheny College (27-12) and Denison University (20-19) on Friday at noon.