DePauw finishes season with school-record 28th win
May 1, 2004
Greencastle, Ind. - The Tigers wrapped up the 2004 season with their school-record 28th victory in a 10-5 win over visiting Thomas More on a cool, damp day at Walker Field. DePauw finished the season with a 28-14 record, while Thomas More dropped to 17-14.
It was an appropriate conclusion to the collegiate careers of DePauw seniors Tyson Becker, Kevin Ehinger, Dave Edmonds and Mike Gonzalez. The four began their careers as freshmen by helping the Tigers to their first NCAA appearance in 22 years and concluded it by establishing a school win record previously set in 1995. The four also finished with the second-most wins of any class with a final record of 99-69.
The Tigers fell behind in the first as the Saints scored three times. Scott Vetter reached on an error before Doug Vetter moved him to third with a single. Doug Vetter then stole second and Dan Buchwald walked to load the bases. Brad Thoma drove in Scott Vetter with a walk Nick Pieczonka doubled down the right field line to make it 3-0.
John Younger led off the DePauw first with an infield single and moved to second on Ryan Sipe's one-out single. Following a walk to Ehinger, Zach Harris lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Younger. The Saints made it 5-2 in the third when Thoma walked and Pieczonka singled him to third. Pieczonka stole second before Matt Wilson singled to score Thoma. Pieczonka then scored on a wild pitch.
Younger led off the third with a single to left and moved to second when an attempted pickoff throw was wild. Sipe was hit by a pitch and Ehinger walked before Harris drove in a run with a fielder's choice. Greg DeBeer reached on a throwing error that scored Sipe to cut the Saints' lead to 5-3.
Gonzalez led off the fourth with a homer to left-his first of the season to cut the margin to 5-4 and the Tigers took the lead for good in the fifth with a pair of runs. Ehinger led off with a walk and moved to second on an error on an attempted pickoff. Harris walked and pinch-hitter Chris Newman laid down a bunt single down the third base line to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Jon Gratz reached on a fielder's choice that scored Ehinger. Younger later added a bases loaded walk to give DePauw the lead.
Sipe led off the sixth with a single and Ehinger followed with his fourth walk of the games. Harris and Newman followed with RBI singles to make it 8-5. DePauw finished its scoring in the eighth when Newman led off with a single. Gratz was hit by a pitch and Chad Call came in to pinch run. Gonzalez advanced the runners with a groundout and Newman scored on a wild pitch. Hunter Slade drove in Call with a single up the middle.
Sipe and Newman each finished with three of the Tigers' 12 hits, while Younger added a pair. Sipe, a junior, finished the season just one hit shy of tying the DePauw career record of 174 set by Steve Spasojevich and Jarrett Hunt. Harris finished with three RBI in the win. Doug Vetter and Pieczonka each had two of Thomas More's six hits.
Dave Edmonds pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and finish at 5-2. Starter Matt Kaiser suffered the loss for the Saints and dropped to 2-4 on the season. Becker started and finished with six strikeouts in three innings to increase his DePauw career records to 221 strikeouts and 252 innings.
As a team, the 2004 Tigers set school records for runs scored (314), home runs (31), RBI (279) and total bases (663). The teams' .333 batting average was second only to the .337 mark set in 1999. Individually, Sipe set the single-season record for runs (53) and total bases (115) and Ehinger drove in a record 65 runs.
Sophomore pitcher P.J. Mitchell allowed just nine walks in 86 innings to finish with the fewest walks per nine innings in school history at .94. Sipe will enter his senior season as DePauw's career leader in doubles (40) and total bases (260).