March 15, 2013

Big Red rallies past Scots in 10 innings

A bases-loaded hit by pitch to Andrew Touhy capped off Denison's 5-4 come-from-behind victory over North Coast Athletic Conference foe Wooster on Friday afternoon from North Charlotte Regional Park in Port Charlotte, Fla.

With the win, the Big Red secured their second-straight victory and improved to 2-4 on the season, while the Fighting Scots dropped to 2-3 on the year.

Denison trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the 10th after a two-out single to right by Craig Day scored Eddie Reese from second base.  Despite surrendering the go-ahead run, DU reliever Philip Seay collected himself and got Frank Vance to ground out to second baseman Tim Duxbury.

Sophomore Nick Marsit drew a leadoff walk to open the bottom of the frame.  Denison freshman Brandon Morgan moved Marsit into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher.  With one out and a runner in scoring position, Wooster reliever Zach Klein plunked Duxbury to put the game-winning run on base.  Nine-hole hitter Jake Meegan stepped into the batter's box with two on and one out looking to tie the game at 4-4.  The rookie did just that with a clutch single to right center that scored Marsit and moved Duxbury to third.

Looking to put a force out at every base, the Wooster coaching staff chose to load the bases with an intentional walk to Charlie Apfelbach.  With the bases juiced, Touhy stepped up to the plate.  Klein started the at-bat with three consecutive balls.  After working the count full, Klein's pay-off pitch drilled Touhy to score the game-winning run and give the Big Red the walk-off victory.

Wooster struck first in the opening frame when a double steal allowed Jarrod Mancine to score from third base.  DU evened the score in the bottom of the second on a base hit up the middle by Meegan that scored Ryan Loehnert.  Wooster broke the 1-1 tie in the third with an RBI ground out by Zac Mathie, and added an insurance run in the fifth behind a Reese single up the middle.

Senior Kyle Clemmenson was hit by a pitch to open the eighth, while a Ryan Mulligan single put two DU runners on with no outs.  Marsit, entering as a pinch hitter, put down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position.  Denison trimmed the deficit to one when Clemmenson crossed the dish on a ground out to first by Morgan.  Duxbury came close to tying the game, but a strong throw by Reese at short just got the senior at first.

With just three outs left in the contest, the Fighting Scot coaching staff handed the ball to Klein.  Meegan opened the ninth with an infield hit to second, while a SAC bunt by Apfelbach put the freshman into scoring position.  The DU shortstop advanced to third when an 0-2 pitch from Klein found the dirt and kicked away from the Wooster catcher.  That was exactly what Touhy needed as he hit a ground ball to short that scored Meegan and pushed the game into extra innings.

Not to be lost in the late-game excitement was the spectacular pitching performances by starters Kyle Colgain and Steve Hagen.  Colgain allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with five strikeouts in 6.2 innings, while Hagen tossed eight strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits with three Ks. 

Meegan finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Loehnert was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run.  Clemmenson, Marsit and Duxbury represented the other three DU runs, while Apfelbach swiped his team-leading fourth base.  Seay gave up one run, scattered three hits and fanned three in 3.1 innings en route to his first win of the year.

Mancine, Reese and Day all logged two hits to pace the Wooster offense.  John McLain posted a game-high three steals, while Mancine and Ryan Miner each stole two bases.  Klein took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits with three walks in 1.1 innings.

Denison closes out its spring break trip on Saturday when they take on Baldwin Wallace at 11:30 a.m.