LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The ninth-ranked Denison baseball team closed out the weekend with a doubleheader split at Transylvania on Sunday afternoon. DU won the opener 11-10, before dropping a 6-5 decision in the nightcap.
The Big Red found themselves in a three-run hole after the Pioneers plated five runs in the home half of the seventh innings. After issuing back-to-back free passes to open the eighth, Transy made a call to the bullpen. The change on the mound did not benefit the home team. Following the substitution, Will Krushena dropped a base hit into right field that loaded the base with no outs. Brian McAuliffe followed with a single down the left line that scored Danny Alvarez and Ty Robinson. Brad Baldinger tied the game at 10-all with an infield single that scored Krushena from third.
In the top of the ninth still tied up, Krushena drew a two-out walk that put the go-ahead run on. McAuliffe came through in the clutch once again with a triple to center that gave Denison the lead. Now pitching with a lead, reliever Henry Haack retired the side in order, including striking out the final hitter, to nail down the win.
Alvarez opened the scoring with a two-out solo home run in the first. TJ Keck tied the game in the second with a homer, while a two-run bomb by Hudson Chastain in the third put Transylvania up 3-1. DU regained the lead with a four-run fourth and added to it with another tally in the fifth.
After a pair of Pioneer runs in the sixth shrunk the margin to 6-5, an Anthony Ruggieri sacrifice fly rebuilt a two-run advantage. However, five hits and a costly error in the bottom of the seventh opened the door for a five-run inning that put Transy back on top, 10-7.
Baldinger and Cam Farren each recorded three hits, while Krushena, McAuliffe, Daniel Spencer and Ruggieri all collected two hits. McAuliffe and Ruggieri each drove in three, while Alvarez, Krushena, McAuliffe and Baldinger each touched the plate twice. Haack (1-1) earned the win after surrendering an unearned run on one hit with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings out of the pen.
In the nightcap, the Pioneers built a 5-1 lead through five innings of play. With one swing of the bat in the sixth, Alvarez closed the gap to one after belting a three-run home run. Denison tied things up in the seventh when Robinson came home to score on a wild pitch with two outs. The tie was broken in the eighth when Keck blasted a lead-off home run to left.
McAuliffe and Alvarez both had two hits, while Alvarez accounted for three of DU's four RBIs. Caleb Struewing (0-1) took the loss in relief after allowing a home run to the lone batter he faced. Starter Trey Holland gave up five runs on eight hits with six strikeouts across seven innings of work.
The Big Red (1-2) will travel to Rome, Ga. to face a trio of teams on the campus of Berry College. First pitch for Friday's (March 6) game against Adrian is slated for 2 p.m.