MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – Thanks to three runs in the top of the ninth and a pair of strikeouts in the home half of the inning, No. 19 Denison baseball completed their comeback bid on Saturday evening as they defeated Berry College 10-9 at William R. Bowdoin Stadium in Mount Berry, Ga. The win moved the Big Red to 3-2 on the season while the hometown Vikings dropped to 9-5.
During the first two innings of action, Berry appeared to have early control of the game following a three-run home run from Tyler Calvert in the bottom of the first to give the Vikings a 3-1 lead. After Calvert drove in another run on a ground out and Dalton Turnbow scored on an error, Berry carried a 5-1 lead into the third.
Trailing the Vikings 5-2 in the top of the fourth, junior Danny Alvarez cut the DU deficit to one, 5-4, when he scored Ty Robinson and Max Lahn on a two-run single to left. After Big Red reliever Tim O'Connor kept BC off the board in the home half of the fourth, Denison answered in the top of the fifth when senior Brian McAuliffe drove home Vince Walker on a sacrifice fly to right that tied the game at 5-5.
Over the next inning and a half, the Big Red and Vikings traded leads three more times, beginning with an RBI double from pinch-hitter Jon Hemings that put Berry in front 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth. DU's Josh Bohn answered with a two-run single in the top of the sixth to retake the lead for the Big Red, 7-6, while a sacrifice fly from Calvert and a run from Dalton Smith on a wild pitch gave BC an 8-7 lead after six innings of play.
After Denison's Patrick Neenan took care of the Vikings with a pair scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, the Big Red offense went back to work in the top of the ninth. With runners at first and third with one out and Robinson at the plate, a passed ball on the Vikings scored Lahn from third while Steven Verstandig advanced to second, tying the game at 8-8.
Following a walk to Robinson and a pitching change from Wesley Maxey to Will Macolino, the Big Red took their third lead of the game when Verstandig scored on a throwing error by Berry's Justin Carr to give Denison a 9-8 advantage. A sacrifice fly from Alvarez followed for DU as they entered the final inning ahead 10-8.
Entering the game as Denison's eighth pitcher of the game, sophomore Henry Haack tallied his first two outs of the inning while leaving runners on first and second. Following a single up the middle to John D'Amelio and balk call that scored Quinn Smith from third, the Big Red lead was trimmed to one, 10-9, with one out to go. In the next at-bat, Haack struck out Wesley Wade to secure his first save of the season as Denison posted their second win in as many days.
Robinson and McAuliffe each posted a pair of two-hit outings for the Big Red while Alvarez led the team with three runs batted in. Bohn went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, while Lahn scored three runs and Krushena recorded one hit and four walks. Neenan secured the win for DU, the first pitching victory of his career. Will McManaman got the start for the Big Red and tallied two strikeouts.
Berry's Calvert went 1-for-3 with a game-high RBIs and a run scored. Zack Walch and Dalton Smith combined for five runs and four hits while Zach Huie went 3-for-4 on the day.
Denison will round out their trip to the Peach State on Sunday, March 8 when they take on Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 12 p.m. in Mount Berry, Ga.