Denison split a key North Coast Athletic Conference doubleheader with Wabash on Saturday afternoon in Crawfordsville, Ind. The Big Red won the opener 12-1, but suffered a 9-0 setback in game two.
DU scored a season-high 12 runs and pounded out a season-high tying 16 hits in the game-one victory. After two scoreless innings, senior Evan Nicholson put Denison on the board with a single through the right side that scored classmate Justin Vaske. Senior Andrew Mahle followed with base hit bunt to third that pushed Tim Duxbury across. Following a single by Drew Rice, Ryan Mulligan logged the fourth-straight base hit to drive in Mahle from third.
In the fourth, a Duxbury double and a single by Tyler Nicholson scored Danny Kraus and Duxbury, respectively, to make it a five-run game. The Big Red continued the offensive attack with a five-run fifth inning. Three-consecutive one-out hits, including an RBI single by Kraus, forced the early departure of Little Giant starter Andrew Swart. Kyle Clemmenson scored on a wild pitch, and a Duxbury double plated Kraus to put Denison on top 8-0. Tyler Nicholson followed with a double down the right field line that knocked in Duxbury and Vaske.
The Big Red grabbed a commanding 12-0 lead in the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Kraus and a base hit by Vaske. John Holm broke up the shutout in the bottom of the frame with a home run off reliever Kyle Colgain.
Senior Tyler Vaske picked up the win after scattering five hits with five strikeouts in five scoreless innings. Colgain allowed one run on one hit with one K, while Hunter Sorensen gave up two hits in the seventh.
Offensively, all 10 Big Red players that stepped up to the plate recorded a hit. Duxbury went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs and two RBIs, while Evan Nicholson, Mulligan, Kraus and Tyler Nicholson each logged a pair of hits. Tyler drove in three and stole a base, while Kraus scored twice, drove in two more and stole a bag.
Wabash's JT Miller scattered eight hits en route to a complete-game shutout in the nightcap. The Little Giant bats did their damage early as they scored all nine runs in the first four innings, including a five-run second frame.
Evan Nicholson went 3-for-4, while David Baskin was 2-for-3 at the dish. Connor Murphy took the loss after giving up eight runs (three earned) on eight hits in three innings. Philip Seay allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts over the final five frames.
Denison moves to 11-24-1 overall and 5-9 in the NCAC West, while Wabash sits at 14-21 and 5-7 in league play. The two squads wrap up their four-game series on Sunday afternoon. Game one of the doubleheader is slated to begin at 12 p.m.