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Denison splits opening day DH at Ferrum

Grady Paine  |  Photo by Jace Delgado
Grady Paine | Photo by Jace Delgado

FERRUM, Va.—Denison opened the 2019 season with a doubleheader split with Ferrum College on Sunday afternoon.  Ferrum took game one, 7-6 but Denison forced the split with a 16-7 win in game two.  The two teams will close out its three-game series on Monday at 1 p.m.

In the nightcap, Taylor Perrett got the start and pitched four innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out six.  Perrett, who was working in a limited pitch count, left the game after the fourth inning with a 6-2 lead thanks to a five-run fourth inning by DU.

In the fourth, Brad Baldinger led off the inning with a double to left and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  An RBI ground out by D. Hunter gave Denison a 2-1 lead.  With two outs and runners on first and second, Max Lahn doubled in Ty Robinson and Anthony Ruggieri.  Designated hitter Grady Paine delivered a 2-run homer to give the Big Red a 6-1 lead.

In the sixth, A two-run double by Vince Walker and an RBI triple by Ruggieri put Denison on top, 10-2. 

John Troll (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 K), Henry Haack (0.1 IP), and Caleb Struewing (1.0 IP, 1 K) closed out the game for Denison.  Paine was 3-for-4 with two walks, four RBIs and four runs scored.  Lahn was also 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.  Will Krushena was 3-for-5 with one walk and one RBI.

Denison pounded out 16 hits and walked 10 times.  Ferrum starting pitcher Drew Calohan took the loss.

In game one, starting pitching took control in the early innings as Denison's Danny Brackman and Ferrum's Joey Pride combined to allow two hits and six strikeouts through the first three innings of action.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Ferrum's Jake Martin connected on a solo home run to give the Panthers the 1-0 lead. Tim Ortega and Kyle Anstice followed with a pair of singles, but Brackman worked out of a jam and sat down the next three batters to enter the fifth with a one-run deficit.

With one out in the top of the fifth and runners on second and third, Baldinger tied the game on a groundout to the pitcher, scoring Lahn from third.

In the home half of the inning, Ferrum regained the lead with six runs on six hits in the bottom of the sixth, led by RBI doubles from Martin and Ortega and a total of three runs driven in from Anstice and Josh Greenway. The Panthers carried a 7-1 advantage heading to the sixth.

In the top of the sixth, Pride collected two quick outs for FC before Walker kept the inning alive with a double to left. In the next at-bat, Lahn scored Walker from second on another double to left that brought DU within five. Hunter, who was pinch-hitting in his first collegiate at-bat, tallied Denison's third-straight double to score Lahn and make it a four-run game after six innings.

Denison continued their rally in the seventh after Baldinger started the inning with a double to right-center. Two batters later, Robinson scored Baldinger on a double to right. Paine followed with a double scoring Robinson, and after DU tallied their second out of the inning, Walker continued DU's string of extra base hits with an RBI double to right field that scored Paine and cut the Big Red's deficit to one, 7-6.

Despite DU's comeback in the later innings, Ferrum's Will Davis struck out the side in the final two innings of action to hand the Big Red their first loss of the season.

Brackman pitched 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and totaled three strikeouts. Pride led the way for the Ferrum pitching attack with eight strikeouts through six innings pitched and three runs allowed to earn the win. Davis notched the save with eight strikeouts.

DU's offense saw Walker, Lahn, and Baldinger each go 2-for-4, combining for four runs scored and three RBIs.

Anstice led Ferrum with a 3-for-4 performance, while Martin tallied three runs batted in on two hits.