Greencastle, Ind.- A leadoff home run from freshman shortstop Michael Hartnagel set the tone for the Tigers as they swept the visiting Manchester University Spartans in the home opener Tuesday afternoon at Walker Field.
After a rough start to the 2014 campaign, the Tigers were able to out find their offensive stroke grabbing game one by a score of 9-5 and taking the nightcap by a score of 6-4.
DePauw improved to 2-4 on the year, while Manchester dropped to 6-7 overall.
Hartnagel's long ball got things going for the Tigers, who outhit the Spartans by a 12-5 mark in game one. Ryan Allee's two out RBI single would put the Tigers up 2-0 after the first.
Manchester would flex their muscle in the top of the second when Elliott Ford put the Spartans in front with a three-run bomb off DePauw's starter, Wyatt Spector.
In the bottom of the inning JB McCallum singled to center scoring Jack Thompson from third and tying the game 3-3. The Tigers would add three more runs in the third and fourth innings led by Pat Lyons who went 2-for-2 with three RBIs over the two-inning stretch. McCallum drove in one on a fielder's choice, while Cory Meixner's single would drive in a run in the fourth.
The Spartans answered in the top of the sixth on Trevor Kimm's two-run homerun, but failed to do any further damage against the Tigers.
Spector picked up the complete-game win striking out eight and walking just one, improving to 1-1 on the season. Josh Copp fell to 2-2 after going just three innings for the Spartans.
In game two the Tigers took advantage of an early dropped fly ball allowing Hartnagel to advance to second and later scoring on Zach Starr's RBI single.
Down 1-0 in the top of the third Manchester center fielder, Kyle Norris, deposited a pitch from DePauw's starter, Eric Steele, over the left field fence putting them in front 2-1.
Once again, the Tigers were quick to respond in the bottom of the inning when Hartnagel's double to deep left center scored McCallum who had reached on an error. Hartnagel advanced to third on a passed ball and would later score on a wild pitch putting DePauw in front 3-2.
A pair of doubles in the bottom of the fifth inning would give the Tigers a few insurance runs and reliever, Jack Peck, some breathing room. Connor Einertson doubled to right center scoring Robbie Stein and Meixner doubled to left center scoring Brendon Pashia and Einertson stretching the lead to 6-2.
Manchester added two runs in the sixth, but were shut down by Peck who struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh inning.
Steele (1-0) earned the win after going four innings allowing just three hits and striking out three. Peck picked up the three inning save striking out five along the way.
Mason Neuman took the loss for Manchester, falling to 1-2 on the season after going four innings and allowing three unearned runs.
Hartnagel, Stein and Meixner each had three hits on the day, while Lyons led the Tigers with four RBIs.
The Tigers are back in action Saturday, March 22, when they travel to Emory for a 2 p.m. showdown.