GRANVILLE, Ohio-- The No. 25 Big Red put on their hitting shoes for games three and four of their weekend series with Wittenberg. Denison won game one 20-7 and took game two, 9-3 powered by 35 hits and a .500 team batting average on Senior Day at Big Red Field.
In game one, Denison took a 15-0 lead after three innings. A seven-run second inning put the game out of reach as Evan Flax went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored. Noah Hahn, Phil Papaioannou and Tanner Johnson all had three hits with RBI doubles thrown in. Every starter had at least one hit for Denison in the opener.
Mikey Rivera got the start and pitched 3.1 innings. He allowed three earned runs via seven hits while striking out four. Sean Bonner got the win in relief. He worked the final 3.2 innings as the game was halted in the middle of the seventh due to Denison's 10+ run lead. Bonner gave up two earned runs off five hits while fanning two.
Wittenberg starter Noble Moore took the loss. He allowed 10 earned runs in 1.2 innings pitched.
As lively as the bats were in game one, the nightcap turned out to be a pitcher's duel most of the way. Denison took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Jake Ryder's single scored Jack Blanchard. DU left the bases loaded in the first and didn't score again until the bottom of the sixth.
Starting pitcher Cody Mauri was brilliant in his 5.0 innings of work. He scattered three hits while striking out four on 61 pitches. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, but The Tigers manufactured a run in the sixth to tie the game, taking Mauri out of the decision.
DU struck back in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to a two-run double by Johnson to the gap in left-center that scored Nick Pettigrew and Blanchard.
In the bottom of the eighth, Denison broke the game open plating five runs on only one hit. Two Wittenberg errors, a wild pitch, two intentional walks and a hit batter all aided the Big Red's cause.
Blanchard was 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Johnson was 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs. On the day, Johnson was 5-for-6 (.833) with two doubles, three RBIs, five runs scored and three walks.
Danny Brackman picked up the win in relief of Mauri. He worked 1.1 innings, striking out two while allowing two hits and one earned run. Andrew Bruss and Connor Hanrahan pitched the final 2.2 innings, preserving the win.
Denison took three out of four from the Tigers on the weekend to move to 23-8 and 8-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference West Division. The Big Red will close out divisional play next weekend when they travel to Ohio Wesleyan. Before that happens, they will take on Otterbein in a non-league contest on Wednesday (April 26) at 4 p.m. in Westerville, Ohio.