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Zmuda's walk-off aids in series sweep of Wabash

Eric Zmuda is greeted by teammates  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Eric Zmuda is greeted by teammates | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Trailing 2-1 and down to their last strike, Denison got back-to-back RBI singles from Joseph Maydwell and Eric Zmuda to steal a 3-2 win away from Wabash College in game one.  In the nightcap, the Big Red cruised to a 15-0 victory, completing the four-game sweep of the Little Giants.

Saturday saw two pitchers duals go the Big Red's way and the clutch gene remained with the Big Red on Sunday.  DU starter Mikey Rivera went eight innings, scattering five hits and three walks.  Wabash managed two runs in the third after an RBI double by Andrew Roginski and a sacrifice fly by centerfielder Taylor Canter.

Denison responded with a run in the bottom of the third on a sac fly by Zmuda to left that scored Brian McAuliffe.

The Little Giants silenced the Denison bats until the ninth.  Jack Blanchard drew a one-out walk.  After Ethan Carlyon flew out to right for the second out of the inning, Tucker Davison followed and was hit by a pitch on the first offering from Wabash reliever Erich Lange.

With a 0-2 count, Maydwell singled through the right side of the infield, scoring Blanchard with the game-tying run while moving Davison to second.  Zmuda followed by lacing a 1-2 offering from reliever Kevin O"Donnell into centerfield for the game-winner.  It marked the second walk-off win for DU in as many days.  In game one of the series, Phil Papaiaonnau's solo blast to centerfield led to an extra-inning win for Denison.

Zmuda was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Davison also finished 2-for-3.  Andrew Bruss got the win after pitching a perfect ninth inning.  He improves to 2-0.  The loss and the blown save were tagged to Lange who drops to 1-1 on the year.

In game two, Denison scored one in the first and four in the second to take a 5-0 lead, giving starting pitcher Cody Mauri a nice cushion heading into the fourth. 

In the fourth, that cushion would get much softer as the Big Red batted around, scoring seven runs off six hits.   The game was ruled final due to new North Coast Athletic Conference rules when a team has a 10-run lead or more after seven.

The Big Red pounded out 18 hits in game two.  Jack Blanchard was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.  Vince Walker was 3-for-4 and Noah Hahn went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored.  Tanner Johnson also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4.

Mauri pitched five innings, allowing five hits and two walks.  He did not allow a run and struck out three.  Matthew Zmuda and Daniel Kurtzer worked the sixth and seventh, respectively to close out the shutout.

In the four games against Wabash, Denison pitchers posted a minuscule 0.75 ERA in 36.0 innings pitched.  The Little Giants batted .156 in the series managing only three runs in four games.

The four-game sweep moves Denison to 4-0 in the NCAC West.  It also extends their winning streak to 10 games.  Over that 10-game span, Denison is hitting .326 as a team and the pitchers have combined for an ERA of 1.00 in 90 innings pitched. 

DU returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to New Concord, Ohio for a single game against Muskingum.  Wabash drops to 11-9 and 0-4 in the NCAC West with the losses.