The Big Red baseball team took over the top spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference West Division standings with a doubleheader sweep of the Wittenberg Tigers on Saturday in Granville. Denison rallied to win game one, 3-2, and posted a dominating 14-2 victory in the nightcap.
Wittenberg took an early two-run lead behind RBI singles from Grant Goodwin and David Moore in the second and third innings, respectively. The DU offense cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth. With runners at first and second, sophomore Charlie Apfelbach laced a base hit towards the right side of the infield that scored Ryan Mulligan from second.
With one out in the sixth, senior Kyle Clemmenson reached base on a single to right. After swiping second, Mulligan stepped to the dish with two down. The sophomore first baseman roped a double into the gap in right center to tie the game at 2-2. With the go-ahead run in scoring position, sophomore Nick Marsit singled to left field, scoring Mulligan from second and giving the Big Red their first lead of the afternoon.
Now working with a lead in the seventh, Denison starting pitcher Tim Duxbury took the hill in search of his third win of the season. Duxbury struck out Brandon Jordan to open the frame before surrendering a base hit to Goodwin. Mike Burgher moved the game-tying run into scoring position with a single through the left side. With two on and one out, the senior hurler induced a ground ball to Clemmenson who started a 6-3 double play to end the game.
Duxbury allowed two runs on six hits with two strikeouts en route to his first conference win of the season. Zach Finke took the loss after giving up three runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings.
Mulligan, Apfelbach and Ryan Loehnert all went 2-for-3 in the opener. Mulligan had a double, two runs and an RBI, while Apfelbach also drove in a run. Clemmenson, Marsit and Brandon Morgan recorded the other DU hits.
The momentum from the game-one rally carried over into the second contest as the Denison offense plated 14 runs on 17 hits and scored in six of eight innings. The biggest blows came in the second and sixth innings.
Following a sacrifice fly by Morgan in the second, the Big Red added three more runs on three-straight singles. The final run of the frame came on an infield single by Mulligan that scored Clemmenson. In the sixth, Marsit scored Loehnert from third on a ground out to short, while singles by Morgan and Danny Kraus knocked in Apfelbach and Jake Meegan, respectively.
Kraus, Andrew Touhy and Apfelbach all recorded three hits, while Clemmenson, Mulligan and Morgan added two base knocks apiece. Kraus and Morgan each drove in three runs, while Clemmenson also knocked in a pair. Apfelbach crossed the dish three times, while Kraus, Touhy and Meegan each scored twice.
Big Red starter Kyle Colgain improved to 2-1 on the season after tossing six shutout innings. The reigning NCAC Pitcher of the Week scattered four hits and struck out two in the win. Georgie Montes also scattered two hits and fanned two in two innings out of the pen.
Denison wraps up its four-game series with Wittenberg on Sunday afternoon in Granville. Game one of the doubleheader is slated to begin at 12 p.m.