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Five-run eighth secures home-opener over Capital

Mikey Rivera  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Mikey Rivera | Photo by Jace Delgado

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Thanks to five runs in the eighth inning by the Big Red offense, Denison baseball rallied to defeat Capital University, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon in their home-opener at Big Red Field.

Through the first six innings of play, starting pitching was the star of the show with Denison's Mikey Rivera and Capital's Ross Thompson combining to allow one run and total five strikeouts.

With a 1-0 lead in the seventh, the Crusaders turned it into a 3-0 game after Zackary Ary knocked in Joe Caporale and Tyler Osborne with a double to right field.

In the bottom of the eighth, Joseph Borkey relieved Thompson after seven innings of work and four hits allowed. The inning began with runners on first and second after Nick Pettigrew beat the throw from Capital's shortstop Connor Richardson to reach first. Jack Blanchard moved him over by drawing a walk in his at-bat.

Following a single through the left side by Noah Hahn that loaded the bases with nobody out, senior Tanner Johnson lifted a towering single to shallow right field that scored Pettigrew from third and left the bases loaded, now trailing 3-1.

The Big Red cut the deficit to 3-2 in the next at-bat as Brian McAuliffe grounded out to Caporale at second, sending Blanchard home and keeping runners on second and third with one out.

After Will Krushena was hit by a pitch to load the bases and pinch-hitter Joseph Maydwell struck out swinging, Sam Frazen took Denison's second HBP of the inning to move the runners over and tie the game at 3-3.

In the next at-bat, Vince Walker gave the Big Red their first lead of the day with a two-run single to short-right field. Walker's base hit fell into fair territory just as Capital's right fielder and first baseman were converging on the ball.

Working with the lead, senior righty Perley Provost returned for his second inning of work and tallied his first win of the season after sitting the Crusaders down in order. The win moved DU to 5-1 on the season as Capital dropped to 7-6 overall. The Big Red are now 6-0 in home-openers during the Mike Deegan era.

Walker finished the game going 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, while Frazen totaled a 2-for-3 showing with one RBI. Ending his day with a no-decision, Rivera allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts in six innings of action.

Looking for their second-straight home victory, Denison will return to Big Red Field on Wednesday, March 14 to host the Cardinals of Otterbein University at 5:00 p.m.