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Big Red and Battling Bishops split

Jack Blanchard  |  Photo by Jace Delagado
Jack Blanchard | Photo by Jace Delagado

GRANVILLE, Ohio--  Denison's winning streak may have been snapped at 10 games but the Big Red did force a doubleheader split with Ohio Wesleyan.  Denison won game one, 7-2 behind eight strong innings from starting pitcher Danny Brackman.  In game two, the Battling Bishops squeaked out a 1-0 win marking the first time Denison has been shutout since April 29, 2016, 6-0, at Wabash.

Brackman was sharp in the opener, scattering nine hits across eight innings.  He allowed one run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Canyon McWilliams.  He was also helped out by some stellar defense from shortstop Jack Blanchard who started a pair of double plays to end the third and the fifth innings.  He also laid down a sneaky tag on McWilliams at second base when he tried to advance on a ball in the dirt in the sixth.

Tanner Johnson was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a solo home run to left in the bottom of the sixth. Sam Frazen was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and Blanchard finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs on a double to left field in the first inning.

Kevin Zullo took the loss for Ohio Wesleyan, falling to 4-3 on the year.  Brackman improved to 4-0 with the win.

In game two, a sacrifice fly in the first inning by Matt Deskins that scored Blatchford accounted for all of the offense.  Battling Bishop starter Chris Punka had Denison off-kilter throughout the game.  He allowed five hits and walked two while striking out three in 6.2 innings.  The went to reliever Jackson Brownstein in the seventh with two outs and runners on first and second.  Brownstein got Grady Paine to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

In the eighth, it looked as if the Big Red were finally going to break through as they loaded the bases with no outs after a leadoff single by Frazen a fielding error at third base and a bunt single by Blanchard.  The Battling Bishops stuck with Brownstein and got Will Krushena to ground into a fielder's choice, allowing them to cut down Anthony Ruggieri, who was pinch running for Frazen, at the plate.  A strikeout and a groundout to the pitcher ended the threat.

In the ninth, the Big Red were retired in order to give OWU the 1-0 victory.

Johnson, Frazen, and Blanchard had multi-hit games for the Big Red in the nightcap. Johnson also extended his hitting streak to 19 games and Blanchard has now reached base in 24 consecutive games.  Punka improved to 2-3 while Big Red starter Taylor Perrett suffered the hard-luck defeat, dropping to 5-2 on the year.  He pitched seven innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out two.

Denison will travel to Gambier, Ohio on Sunday, April 22 for one game against Kenyon beginning at 1 p.m.