Staff Writer

Denison men’s baseball won their home opener versus Muskingum University, Wednesday at Big Red Field in Granville. The Denison men secured their 10-4 victory with a strong eighth inning, scoring five runs to pad their lead.

The Big Red started off strong with four runs in the first three innings to begin to build their lead. Noah Hahn ’18 scored from third on a wild pitch and also scored Tanner Johnson ’18 and Sam Frazen ’18 with a two-run single to center field. Duncan Moran ’16 hit an RBI to allow Eric Zmuda ’17 to score the fourth run for Denison.

The Muskies attempted a comeback with single runs in the fourth and fifth inning, but the Big Red continued to push offensively. Frazen came away with another base hit to score Evan Flax ‘17 making the game 5-2. 

Muskingum scored two-runs in the ninth, but closer Mikey Rivera ’19 finished the game with three-straight strikeouts. Big Red starter Zach Huarte ’18 put in eight innings of work, improving to 2-0 on the season.

Denison improved to 7-2 with the victory while Muskingum drops to 9-5. The Big Red returned to action Saturday when they travelled to Tiffin, Ohio to face Heidelberg University.

The Big Red lost 6-4, falling short in the ninth inning.

Heidelberg started off the hitting securing a run in the second inning, followed by a five-run fifth inning giving them a 6-0 lead. The Big Red scored their first run of the game in the top of the sixth with key players Eric Zmuda ’17 and Tanner Johnson ’18.

At the top of the ninth, Denison was faced with a five run deficit. Johnson got on base drawing a walk. Moran followed with a pinch-hit single. Next, Phil Papioannou ’17 hit a double to left center scored Johnson ’18 and moved pinch runner Joe LaPlaca ’16 to third base. Brandon Morgan ‘16 hit a single up the middle that drove in both runners. However, the Big Red could not recover the last two runs.

The loss moved Denison to 7-3 while Heidelberg improves to 8-10 for the season. The Big Red begin a home-and-home series with Ohio Northern University on Tuesday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00pm.

Reflecting on the week, Frazen said, “Even after our loss to Heidelberg we are still confident going into our series against Ohio Northern. We just need to have the mentality that we are the better team and execute our game plan.”

Frazen said that as a team they have a lot of goals for this season. Their main team goal is to win the first NCAC conference championship in the program’s history.

“I feel like our team this year has a lot more chemistry and that we’re a closer group of guys. That has definitely contributed to our success thus far and can continue to help us this year. We’re just having a lot of fun out there honestly,” Frazen said.