GRANVILLE, Ohio -- Home runs from Tanner Johnson, Grady Paine, and Will Krushena helped Denison baseball improve to 16-6 overall following a doubleheader sweep of DePauw University on Wednesday afternoon at Big Red Field. DU took the first game, 8-3, and rallied from an early deficit in game two for a 13-9 win.
Denison's offensive firepower began in game one with freshman Taylor Perrett taking the hill. In seven innings of work, Perrett allowed two runs on 13 hits with two strikeouts as he recorded his fifth win of the season.
After the Tigers touched Perrett up for a run in the top of the first, the Big Red bats answered in the home half of the inning when Will Krushena plated a pair on a single through the right side to take the 2-1 lead after one inning of play.
Over the next three innings pitched, Perrett held the Tigers scoreless on three hits to keep DU in front entering the bottom of the fourth. It was in the home half where Vince Walker launched a triple down the right-field line to score Noah Hahn and Jack Blanchard and extend the Big Red lead. Two batters later, Johnson drove Walker home on an RBI single to the shortstop, giving Denison a 5-1 lead after four innings.
An RBI single to right by Noah Salasky cut the DePauw deficit to 5-2 in the top of the eighth, but the Big Red countered in the bottom of the inning when freshman Max Lahn's single to center scored Blanchard, and Johnson's double to right sent Nick Pettigrew and Lahn across the dish.
Entering the ninth for his second inning of work, junior Mikey Rivera allowed another DePauw run when he walked Collin Einertson with the bases loaded but rebounded with the final two batters, sitting them down on a pop-up and a swinging strikeout to enter the break with a game one victory.
Johnson opened the day with a 2-for-4 effort, garnering one run scored and three RBIs. Blanchard also offered an offensive compliment in game one, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
If the Big Red didn't score enough in the first game, they answered any doubts in game two as they offered plenty of insurance to starter John Troll. In five innings of action, the junior allowed five earned runs on seven hits and tallied three strikeouts for his fourth win of the season.
Running into a bit of trouble in the top of the second, Troll allowed a three-run triple to DePauw's Charlie Patrick that cleared the bases and put the Tigers in front, 5-1, after two innings.
After a solo homer to left from Johnson started to ignite the Big Red offense in the bottom of the third, the fireworks really turned on in the fourth when Paine singled to right with the bases loaded to drive in two and cut the DU deficit to 5-4. Two batters later, with runners on first and second, Denison took its first lead of the game on a three-run home run from Krushena over the left field wall.
Leading 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth, the Big Red tacked on two more runs when Walker and Paine connected on RBI singles. Paine continued his torrid day at the plate in the seventh when he launched a three-run home run to right center and put DU ahead by seven runs, 13-6.
The Tigers threatened with three runs in the top of the ninth, but a 2-6-5 pickoff of Jackson Williams ended the game and helped Denison improve to 5-1 in conference play.
Paine led the DU charge in game two with a career-high six RBI's while going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Krushena also added four RBIs and one run scored in a 2-for-3 performance. Denison has won nine of their last 10 games, outscoring their opponents 105-58 during that stretch.
The Big Red returns to action on Friday when they host Hiram in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.