CHILLICOTHE, Ohio -- The Denison bats erupted for 17 runs on 14 hits in the Big Red's 17-2 season-opening victory over Manchester University on Saturday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium.
After a scoreless opening frame, Denison pushed across four runs on four hits in the second. The Spartans cut the deficit in half with a pair in the bottom of the frame. DU answered with 13 unanswered runs over the final seven innings, including two more four-run frames. Senior Evan Flax delivered the big hit in the third with a bases-clearing triple before eventually coming around to score on a sacrifice fly to left by junior Sam Frazen. Senior Phil Papaioannou also had a bases-clearing hit in the fifth, scoring three of the team's four runs with a double to right.
Papaioannou and Flax both finished with two hits, four RBIs and two runs scored, while freshman Vince Walker also went 2-for-2 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base. Senior Tucker Davison and junior Jack Blanchard each touched the dish three times, while Frazen had a pair of runs knocked in. Junior Perley Provost picked up the victory after surrendering two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work. Senior southpaw Matthew Zmuda tossed two hitless innings with two Ks, while Andrew Bruss pitched the final inning of the game.
Matt Pritz led Manchester with two hits and two RBIs. Brandon Eck suffered the loss after allowing eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks. As a team, the Spartans issued 11 free passes and hit four batters.
Denison improves to 1-0 on the season, while Manchester falls to 0-1. The two squads will return to VA Memorial Stadium on Sunday for a doubleheader that is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.