March 14, 2013

DU upsets No. 3 Wheaton for first victory

Mike Deegan picked up his first win as Denison head coach on Thursday against third-ranked Wheaton (Mass.).  The Big Red pounded out nine hits and took advantage of six Lyon errors in a 12-4 victory in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Wheaton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a first-inning error allowed the Lyons to push across two unearned runs.  In the top of the second, Georgie Montes cut the deficit in half with an RBI ground out that scored Ryan Mulligan.  Freshmen Jake Meegan and Brandon Morgan followed with a double and single, respectively, to plate two more runs and give DU a one-run advantage.

In the top of the third, the Lyons were bit by the error bug as a throwing miscue by the shortstop allowed both Danny Kraus and Kyle Clemmenson to cross the dish, putting Denison in front 5-2.  The Big Red added to its lead in the fourth when a bases loaded walk to Tim Duxbury scored Andrew Touhy.

Ahead 6-3 after four innings, Denison broke the game open with three runs in the fifth and seventh innings. A muffed throw on a sacrifice bunt by Charlie Apfelbach allowed Morgan to score from second with one out.  Later in the inning, Clemmenson laced a base hit to center that scored Apfelbach and Touhy.  In the seventh, Kraus tripled in Apfelbach and Touhy before coming around to score on a Clemmenson sacrifice fly to right.

Wheaton plated an unearned run in the seventh on a single through the right side.  That base hit put an end to freshman Ian Walsh's day.  Walsh, making his first-collegiate start, looked solid en route to his first-career victory.  The rookie surrendered one earned run on six hits with two strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

Connor Murphy entered in relief of Walsh and fanned the only two batters he faced in the seventh.  The junior hurler saw just seven batters over the final two frames, striking out one and inducing a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Kraus and Clemmenson combined for five hits, five RBIs and three runs, while Touhy drew three walks and scored three times.  Morgan also logged two hits, drove in a run and scored another, while Apfelbach crossed the dish twice.

Eight different Wheaton hitters recorded a hit.  Apolinar De La Cruz drove in two runs, while Eric Jense scored two of the Lyons four runs.  Mike Gibbons suffered the loss after giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits in 3.1 innings.

Denison moves to 1-4, while Wheaton falls to 3-3.  The Big Red returns to the diamond on Friday when they take on North Coast Athletic Conference foe Wooster at 3 p.m. in Port Charlotte, Fla.