April 25, 2013

Big Red surpasses 20-win mark in sweep of Heidelberg

An 8-5 victory in game one followed by a 10-8 triumph over Heidelberg University in game two was enough to secure Denison's 11th 20-win season in school history.  With the sweep, the Big Red now stands at 21-12 awaiting a pair of non-league doubleheaders this weekend against Oberlin and Case Western Reserve.

In the opening game of the doubleheader, Denison starter Connor Murphy got in some trouble early, allowing two runs in the top of the first. However, he managed to retire Heidelberg shortstop Andrew Zenczak with the bases loaded to escape the jam.

The Big Red would respond with a three-run second inning thanks to an RBI single by Lowell Hall and a double by Tim Duxbury.  Earlier in the inning, Ryan Mulligan would score on a wild pitch by Heidelberg starter Tyler Fruhwirth.

A lead-off triple by Charlie Apfelbach in the fifth inning got things going for DU.  It also extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Kyle Clemmenson would drive in Apfelbach one batter later with his fourth sacrifice fly of the season.

After the Student Princes plated one run in the sixth, Denison responded with a three-run sixth off an RBI double by Apfelbach and a two-run single to left by Nick Marsit. In the seventh, Clemmenson would blast his fourth homer of the season over the wall in left field, putting Denison on top, 8-3.

In the ninth, the Big Red bullpen would surrender a pair of runs, so with two outs in the inning, Tim Duxbury came on and needed only two pitches to retire Dustin Hug, locking up his third save of the season. 

Murphy earned the win, improving to 3-4 on the year while Fruhwirth was tagged with the loss, dropping his record to 2-5.  Five players enjoyed multi-hit games for Denison.  Marsit and Clemmenson led the way with two RBIs, apiece.

In the nightcap, Denison jumped on the Berg early with a four-run first inning and a three-run third to take a 7-0 lead into the fourth.  That's when Heidelberg would bounce back with four runs, cutting the Denison lead to 7-4.  In the fourth, an RBI double by Clemmenson that was followed by a sacrifice fly by Mulligan gave DU a little more breathing room at 9-4.

Denison starter Ian Walsh would leave the game after four innings.  He allowed five hits, four earned runs, five walks and three strike outs.  Ian Barry came on in relief and Heidelberg touched him up early for three earned runs in his first inning of work.  After the fifth inning, Barry settled in and would pitch until the eighth when he gave way to senior Philip Seay who would close the door on the Princes for his second save of the season.

In the second inning of game two, Apfelbach singled on a ground ball to the hole between third and short.  The third baseman made a diving stop but was unable to get Apfelbach at first base.  His hit tied Derek Johnson's school-record hitting streak of 21 games.  Over the span of Apfelbach's streak he is batting .443 and has raised his season average to .358.

Andrew Touhy led DU at the plate in game two, going 2-for-3 with one run scored and three RBIs.  Danny Kraus also drove in three while going 1-for-4 with two runs scored.   Kyle Clemmenson was 4-for-5 with four runs scored and one RBI.  He also extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 26.

Ian Barry earned the victory and improved to 2-2 while Seay picked up the save after allowing one hit and one run in two innings of work.

Denison will return to action on Saturday (April 27) when they host Oberlin College in a doubleheader from Big Red Field at 12 p.m.