Baseball closes Florida trip with doubleheader sweep

Tanner Johnson  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Tanner Johnson | Photo by Jace Delgado

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On their final day at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., Denison baseball added a pair of wins to their resume when they defeated St. Lawrence University, 15-12, in the morning session, and tallied a dominant victory over the Panthers of Plymouth State, 15-3, in the afternoon.

In the win over PSU, the Big Red offered an offensive outburst that allowed senior starter Perley Provost to work with a lead from the start and earn his third win of the season. In seven innings of work, Provost allowed three runs on eight hits and totaled four strikeouts.

Carrying a 3-1 lead into the second inning, Denison turned in six more runs over the next three innings that started with an RBI single from Jack Blanchard that plated fellow senior Sam Frazen in the second inning.

Following a three up, three down inning from Provost in the home half of the second, Frazen continued his highlights with a two-run home run in the third that scored Brian McAuliffe in the process.

With two outs in the top of the fourth and a 7-1 advantage, McAuliffe hopped aboard the scoring train when he connected on a double that sent Vince Walker and Ty Robinson across the plate.

The Big Red were ahead 9-3 in the seventh when Frazen and Blanchard went back to work. After Walker singled to start the inning and McAuliffe received a base on balls, Frazen emptied the bases when he picked up his second double of the game. Two batters later, Blanchard scored Frazen with an RBI single for the second time.

Leading 13-3 in the top of the ninth, senior Tanner Johnson continued his big day when he plated Matt Bonollo and Carter Beloff with a single.

Frazen finished the game going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI's, while McAuliffe also tallied four runs batted in with his 2-for-3 performance. Johnson landed three RBI's in the game and went 2-for-4.

Before the win over the Panthers, the Big Red secured another 15-run showing in the victory over the Saints of St. Lawrence.

In a game that saw a combined 15 errors, DU entered the top of the sixth trailing 6-1. It was that inning that changed Denison's fortune for the remainder of the game as they totaled eight runs on six hits.

Following a bunt single from Jake Ryder that scored Walker from third, the Big Red had runners on second and third with two outs. Noah Hahn started the scoring party with an RBI double, and Will Krushena kept it going when he reached on an error by the center fielder, scoring Joseph Maydwell.

A single to right in the next at-bat from Johnson scored Hahn to cut the Denison deficit to 6-5, but Frazen doubled off of new SLU pitcher Anthony Ferraro and scored Krushena to tie the game at 6-6.

The Big Red eventually took the lead when Johnson scored on a balk and McAuliffe added to the lead when the right fielder committed an error and Walker and Frazen scored to put DU ahead 9-6 entering the seventh.

With a 12-6 lead entering the home half of the seventh, the Saints drove home six runs to tie the game at 12-12 heading to the eighth.

The Big Red refused to give in as a walk to Blanchard with the bases loaded scored the winning run, and a two-run single by Krushena put Denison in front for good.

Adding three more RBI's each in the first game, Johnson turned in a 3-for-5 performance against SLU while Frazen when 2-for-6 with one run scored. Krushena finished with two RBI's and two runs scored.

Leaving the sunshine state with a 9-5 record, the Big Red will return to Granville on Tuesday, March 27 when they host Ohio Northern University for a 5 p.m. first-pitch.