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Big Red bows out of NCAC Tourney

(L-R) Vince Walker, Max Lahn  |  Photo by Russell Kramer
(L-R) Vince Walker, Max Lahn | Photo by Russell Kramer

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio--  Denison's run in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament came to an end on Friday as they suffered a 4-2 loss to the College of Wooster in an elimination game from VA Memorial Stadium.  The Big Red staved off elimination earlier in the day with a 9-4 win over Kenyon College.

In the nightcap against the Fighting Scots, rookie Taylor Perrett took the mound for the Big Red and pitched well.  He went six innings, allowing four runs off nine hits. Wooster starter Chandler Dippman was just slightly better as the junior right-hander fired a complete game to improve to 7-0.

Denison took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single to left by Brian McAuliffe that scored Jack Blanchard.  Wooster tied the game in the bottom of the first on a fielder's choice by Dan Harwood that scored Jake Fling from third.

The game was tied 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth when Michael Wielansky led off the inning with a walk and Harwood followed with a two-run home run over the wall in right giving the Scots a 3-1 lead.

Denison responded with a run in the fifth on an RBI driven by McAuliffe that scored Grady Paine from third.  Wooster answered in the sixth on a double to the gap in left-center by Harrison Walls.

In the Denison eighth, Noah Hahn singled to left with one out but Dippman battled back with a strikeout and a lineout to second that nearly found a hole.

Joseph Maydwell got the start in right field and was 3-for-4 at the plate. He also made a spectacular diving catch in foul territory to end an inning.

Against Kenyon, Denison picked up record-setting victory No. 32 behind starting pitcher Danny Backman.  He pitched 6.2 innings to earn the win.  Mikey Rivera worked the final 3.1 innings to earn his eighth save of the season, tying the DU single-game record.

The big play in the victory over the Lords was a 2-run home run by Tanner Johnson that gave the Big Red a 5-1 lead.  Johnson's home run was the 200th hit of his career.  He is the fourth player in program history to reach the milestone.

Now, Denison will await word from the NCAA selection committee to see if they will earn a berth into the NCAA Division III regional.  In the latest Mid-East regional rankings, Denison was ranked second.