GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Seventh-ranked Denison's command over Ohio Athletic Conference opponents continued after an 8-2 win against No. 26 Heidelberg on Wednesday night at Big Red Field. The win improves Denison's record to a sparkling 28-3, it also marks the Big Red's 23rd consecutive win over an OAC opponent, dating back to April 27, 2016. The Big Red is 8-0 against the OAC this season.
This game had some extra importance placed on it after the first regional rankings were issued by the NCAA earlier in the day. Denison is ranked No. 1 in the Mideast region with Heidelberg checking in third.
The Big Red handed the Student Prince's a steady dose of small ball, bunting seven times in the game with four going for base hits. They also plated three of their eight runs via sacrifice flies.
The first run of the game crossed the plate in the second on an RBI fielder's choice by Anthony Ruggieri that scored Brian McAuliffe. In the third, a squeeze bunt by Ty Robinson scored Brad Baldinger from third.
Denison took a 5-0 lead after a three-run fourth powered by a two-run single by Robinson.
Kenny Lippman got the start for Denison and didn't run into major trouble until the fifth. With one out and a runner on second, Kyle Jenkins doubled to the wall in center, scoring Kane Bateman. After two walks to load the bases, Lippman left the game for senior reliever John Troll.
Troll was brilliant in relief, inducing a pop out and a strikeout to get out of the jam. After a clean sixth, Troll allowed back-to-back singles to open the seventh. He worked out of the jam by getting three straight fly ball outs. Mikey Rivera pitched the final two innings to close out the win for DU.
Robinson was 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Baldinger, Paine, and Lahn had two hits apiece for the Big Red. Troll improves to 5-0 after pitching 2.2 innings of relief. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Alec Zoeller took the loss for Heidelberg, dropping to 1-2 on the season.
With the win, Denison head coach Mike Deegan tied the program record for wins with career victory number 182. He will try and break the record on Saturday when Denison travels to Wooster for a doubleheader slated to start at noon. Denison and Wooster are currently tied for first place in the loss column in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings. The Big Red is 11-1 and the Fighting Scots are 9-1 in conference play.