Denison opened his home slate on a positive note with a twinbill sweep of Ohio Northern University on Saturday afternoon in Granville, Ohio. The Big Red posted a dominating 12-1 win in the opener and rallied for a 5-4 victory in the nightcap.
In game two, the Polar Bears plated a single run in the third and added three more tallies in the seventh to grab a 4-0 lead through six and a half innings. In the bottom of the seventh, freshman Jake Meegan led off the inning with a base-on-balls, while a single by pinch hitter Lowell Hall put runners on first and second. Sophomore Charlie Apfelbach followed up with a ground ball that was misplayed and then thrown into right field by the ONU third baseman. That throwing error allowed Meegan to score DU's first run of the inning.
After that run crossed, Ohio Northern called on reliever Andrew Tople to replace starter Austin Price. Tople struggled from the get-go, giving up a bases-clearing triple to the first batter he faced, Andrew Touhy. Touhy's three-base hit scored Hall and Apfelbach, cutting the deficit to 4-3 with no outs. After getting a strikeout, Tople threw a pitch that got away from catcher Cory Martin and gave Touhy the opportunity to score the game-tying run. With the bases empty, the ONU hurler put the go-ahead run on in the form of Ryan Loehnert. That free pass ended the day for Tople as Polar Bear skipper Gene Stechschulte brought in Brady Foley. After Loehnert moved to third on a stolen base and a passed ball, sophomore Ryan Mulligan dropped a single into left that capped off a five-run seventh inning.
Now playing with the lead, Denison Head Coach Mike Deegan handed the ball to sophomore Ian Barry. Barry recorded the first two outs of the eighth with ease before issuing a walk to Jack LaMarca. LaMarca stole second to get into scoring position, but a strike out by the DU pitcher ended the Ohio Northern threat. In the ninth, the sophomore returned to the bump in search of his first-collegiate save. After getting Dan Belliveau to ground out to first and Martin to flight out to deep center, it came down to Barry versus Nick Eltzroth. The Denison hurler won that battle as he induced a ground out to short to wrap up the doubleheader sweep.
Philip Seay (2-0) picked up the win in relief despite giving up three runs on three hits in two innings of works. Barry tossed two hitless frames with a strikeout en route to his first-career save. Starter Danny Kraus gave up one run on three hits with five Ks in the no decision. Touhy paced the offense with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored, while Mulligan also posted a pair of hits.
Denison pushed across 12 runs on 15 hits, including seven extra-base hits, in game one. The Big Red broke the game open early with a seven-run second inning that featured five DU hits, one ONU error, two walks and a hit by pitch. DU tacked on three more runs in the sixth and a pair in the seventh to seal up the victory.
Senior Tim Duxbury (1-1) pitched a gem allowing an unearned run on seven hits with six strikeouts in eight innings of work. Touhy went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI in the opener, while Nick Marsit also logged three hits, an RBI and a run. Mulligan knocked in a pair, while Kraus and Kyle Clemmenson each scored twice.
Denison improves to 4-6 on the year, while Ohio Northern falls to 6-6. The Big Red returns to action on Tuesday when they host Bluftton University. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.