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DU takes three of four from Wittenberg

Ryan Mulligan hit .400 with 2 doubles, 5 RBIs and 4 runs on Tuesday.
Ryan Mulligan hit .400 with 2 doubles, 5 RBIs and 4 runs on Tuesday.

The Denison baseball team secured a series victory over Wittenberg with a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday in Springfield, Ohio. The Big Red won the opener 8-2 and picked up an 11-4 victory in game two.

The Big Red came alive early in game one to build a 7-0 lead after two innings.  In the first frame, Denison scattered three hits and took advantage of two Wittenberg errors en route to scoring five runs.  DU had the bases loaded with no outs after a pair of throwing errors and a hit by pitch.  With the bases full, junior Ryan Loehnert dropped a base hit into left field that scored Georgie Montes. Duncan Moran followed the base hit with a fielder's choice out to second that scored Charlie Apfelbach.  After a walk to Tucker Davison loaded the bases once again, Nick Marsit hit into another fielder's choice that allowed Ryan Mulligan to touch the plate. Brandon Morgan followed with another single to right that drove in Moran, while a double down the right line by Conner Madey knocked in Marsit.

Denison added to its lead in the second with a two more tallies.  After a leadoff triple to center by Apfelbach, Mulligan hit a single to left that easily scored Apfelbach.  With runners at the corners and two outs, Marsit drove a ball through the right side to score Mulligan.

The Tigers broke up the shutout bid with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third.  Wittenberg scored its runs on a pair of two-out singles by Zac Wilson and Dalton Boucher.  The Big Red scored their final insurance run in the sixth when Apfelbach scored his third run of the game, this time on a wild pitch.

Apfelbach finished the game a perfect 2-for-2 with a triple and three runs.  Marsit also had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.  Mulligan, Loehnert, Moran, Morgan and Madey all had a hit and an RBI.  Junior pitcher Kyle Colgain improved to 2-2 on the year after surrendering just two runs over the course of seven innings.  Colgain scattered three hits, struck out four and went the entire game without issuing a walk.

Jordan Hitt took the loss after allowing eight runs (three earned) on eight hits with eight strikeouts in six innings of work.

In the nightcap, Denison jumped out to another big lead after scoring six runs in the top of the third.  A bases-loaded double with no outs by Mulligan scored Montes and Madey. Senior Andrew Touhy followed that two-run double with his first home run of the season over the center field wall.  Touhy's long ball scored Apfelbach and Mulligan to give DU a 5-0 lead. Morgan knocked in the sixth run with a base hit up that middle.

The Big Red added two more runs in the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly to center by Moran and a throwing error by second baseman Cal Slusarz.  Wittenberg got its first runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth. However, Denison answered with three more tallies in the seventh to extend its lead to 11-2.  The outburst in the seventh was highlighted by a two-run double by Mulligan.  The Tigers added two more in the eighth, but it wasn't enough to overcome the offensive onslaught poured on by the Big Red.

Mulligan paced the DU offense with three hits, including two doubles, four RBIs and two run scored.  Touhy also had two hits, including a three-run homer, while Apfelbach and Alex Enrique each logged a pair of hits.  Apfelbach scored three times, while Montes and Madey each scored twice. Freshman Johnny Funkhouser picked up his first-collegiate win after allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts.

Six different batters recorded a hit for the Tigers.  Wilson and Hutchison each scored twice for Wittenberg.  Tyler Powell fell to 0-4 after giving up eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits with six walks in 5.2 innings.

Denison improves to 8-9 overall and 5-1 in the NCAC West, while the Tigers fall to 4-15 and 1-7 in conference play.  The Big Red returns to the field on Thursday when they host Capital at 5 p.m.