Denison Captures First NCAC Tournament Title

Denison Captures First NCAC Tournament Title

The Denison Big Red (38-7) worked their way through the bracket of the 2019 NCAC Baseball Championship Tournament to capture their first conference title with a 7-5 victory over Wooster (26-12) in the championship game on Saturday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. As league champions, Denison has earned the NCAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.

The Big Red opened the tournament Thursday afternoon with a 5-4 win over Allegheny, but then dropped a 19-3 decision to the Scots in Game 3. On Friday, Denison rebounded with a 7-0 win over Allegheny and a 5-3 victory over Wooster, forcing Game 7 for the 2019 NCAC Title.

The Scots opened the tournament Thursday morning with a 10-4 win over Wabash and advanced to the championship game with a 19-3 win over Denison Friday afternoon.

The championship game would see Wooster get on the board first with a run in the top of the first inning, before the Big Red answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first frame. A Grady Paine (McLean, VA/The Hill School) three-run homerun would give Denison a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the second. The Scots would see Tyler Chumita (Hilliard, OH/Hilliard Darby) score a run in the third, to pull within three. A single from Max Lahn (Charlotte, NC/Providence Day School) in the fourth and a single from Cam Farren (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) in the seventh would put Denison up 7-2. Wooster chipped away at the Big Red lead with three runs in the top of the eighth thanks to singles from Dan Harwood (Brecksville, OH/Brecksville-Broadview Hts.) and Garrett Crum (Alliance, OH/Canton South), while Harwood would also score on a wild pitch, bringing the Scots within two. Denison would face three batters in the top of the ninth, forcing a ground out and then ending the game with a double play.

After going 3-for-3 in the championship game, scoring two runs and earning one RBI, Farren was named the Tournament MVP. In the five tournament games combined, he hit .625 (10-for-16) with one homerun, four RBI and four runs scored. Farren was also a force defensively for the Big Red in center field through the five tournament games with 10 putouts and no errors for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

2019 NCAC Baseball All-Tournament Team

Andrew Jumonville, Wabash
Austin Bristol, Allegheny
Tommy Cannon, Allegheny
Chandler Dippman, Wooster
Dan Harwood, Wooster
Jacob Stuursma, Wooster
Brian McAuliffe, Denison
Will Krushena, Denison
Grady Paine, Denison
Evan Faxon, Wooster
Taylor Perrett, Denison

MVP
Cam Farren, Denison

   

2019 NCAC Baseball Tournament
VA Memorial Stadium
Chillicothe, Ohio
May 9 & 10
Thursday, May 9
Friday, May 10
Saturday, May 11
Game 1: #1 Wooster 10, #4 Wabash 4 
Box Score | Photos

Game 5: #2 Denison 7, #3 Allegheny 0
Box Score | Photos

Game 7: #2 Denison 7, #1 Wooster 5
Box Score | Photos

Game 2: #2 Denison 5, #3 Allegheny 4 
Box Score | Photos

Game 6: #2 Denison 5, #1 Wooster 3
Box Score | Photos

 
Game 3: #1 Wooster 19, #2 Denison 3
Box Score | Photos

 

 
Game 4: #3 Allegheny 4, #4 Wabash 1
Box Score | Photos
   
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GAMES 5 & 6:

Allegheny and Denison started day 2 of the 2019 NCAC Baseball Tournament competing in Game 5. The Big Red recorded a 7-0 win eliminating the Gators from the tournament and then forced Game 7 after claiming a 5-3 victory over Wooster in Game 6. Denison and Wooster will now compete for the 2019 NCAC Baseball Title on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. 

The Big Red struck first in Game 5 with four runs in the third inning thanks to hits from Will Krushena (Bloomfield Hills, MI/Detroit Country Day), Brian McAuliffe (Tuckahoe, NY/Fordham Prep) and Vince Walker (Burtonsville, MD/Riverdale Baptist). Denison would plate another run in the fourth after Krushena singled through the left side to score Anthony Ruggieri (Pittsburgh, PA/North Hills). After a rain delay in the fifth, Wallker flied out to left field to score Krushena and Cam Farren (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) singled to right to score McAuliffe in the seventh, which would be enough to seal the 7-0 victory.

Denison had five players record two hits in the game, including Farren, Krushena, Ty Robinson (Hoover, AL/Hoover), Ruggieri and Walker, while Allegheny got two hits from Ben Kosbie (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side Academy)

Taylor Perrett (Battle Creek, MI/Lakeview) earned the win on the mound throwing a complete game, scattering four hits and striking out five. Nate Pastorek (Sarver, PA/Freeport) was given the loss.

The Gators end the 2019 season with a 22-17 overall record.

Denison would score first off of a double from Grady Paine (McLean, VA/The Hill School), who scored Cam Farren (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit Prep). Wooster would plate a run in the fourth thanks to a homerun from Jacob Stuursma (Hudson, OH/Hudson). The fifth inning would see the two teams trade runs once again as the Big Red answered with a homerun of their own off the bat off Farren, while Chandler Dippman (Waterville, OH/St. John's Jesuit) scored on a wild pitch. Wooster would take the lead in the bottom of the eighth, as Garrett Crum (Alliance, OH/Canton South) flied out to right with the bases loaded to score Ben Hines (Farmington, MN/Lakeville South). Denison would answer back in the top of the ninth with three runs to take a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the frame and hold on for the win. The Big Red would see Krushena cross the plate after a sacrifice bunt by Brad Baldinger (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa), while a single by Vince Walker (Burtonsville, MD/Riverdale Baptist) would score Steven Verstandig (Slingerlands, NY/Albany Academy) and a fly out by Anthony Ruggieri (Pittsburgh, PA/North Hills) would score Baldinger.

Farren, Paine and Walker all recorded two hits for Denison, while five Wooster players posted one hit each in the game. Henry Haack (Evanston, IL/Evanston Township) earned the win for Denison allowing just two hits in 3.2 innings of work, while Andrew Hill (New Albany, OH/Fork Union Military Academy) took the loss for Wooster after going eight innings and striking out seven.

GAMES 1-4:

After four complete games of the 2019 NCAC Baseball Tournament, top-seeded Wooster has earned the right to play in the title game on Friday at 2:00 p.m. Second-seeded Denison and third-seeded Allegheny will meet up in the elimination game at 11:00 a.m. Friday for the opportunity to play the Fighting Scots in the 2019 NCAC title game. The NCAC tournament champion will earn an automatic berth into the upcoming 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.

To start the day, the Fighting Scots captured a 10-4 victory over Wabash in Game 1, while the Big Red defeated the Gators, 5-4, in Game 2. Wooster went on to claim a 19-3 win over Denison in Game 3 and Allegheny earned an 4-1 win over the Little Giants in the final game of the day to eliminate Wabash from the tournament.

In Game 1, Garrett Crum (Alliance, OH/Canton South) started the scoring for Wooster with an RBI single to center field, scoring Nick Strausbaugh (Fredericksburg, OH/Waynedale) in the bottom of the first frame. Wabash would put two on the board in the top of the second off of RBI singles up the middle from Eric Chavez (Albuquerque, NM/Valley) and Andrew Jumonville (Munster, IN/Munster). After two and a half innings of scoreless play with the game tied at two-all, the Fighting Scots would see three runners cross the plate in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI by Harry Witwer-Dukes (Monmouth, OR/Blanchet Catholic) and a two-run homerun by Chandler Dippman (Waterville, OH/St. John's Jesuit). Wooster would score two more runs in the seventh and three in the eighth, while the Little Giants would only plate two runners in the top of the ninth, taking the 10-4 loss.

Dippman led the Fighting Scots at the plate and on the mound, as he went 2-for-3 with three RBI and earned the win after throwing 8.1 innings, as he scattered 11 hits and struck out six. Witwer-Dukes also went 2-for-5 with two RBI for the Scots. Jumonville went 3-for-4 for Wabash, with one RBI and one scored run, while Chavez went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. Kase Lawson (Clinton, IN/South Vermillion) took the loss on the mound after throwing five innings of eight-hit ball while striking out three.

Game 2 would see Denison get on the board first with an RBI double from Will Krushena (Bloomfield Hills, MI/Detroit Country Day) to go up 1-0. Allegheny would score two in the top of the fourth to take the lead, 2-1, after a leadoff homerun from Tommy Cannon (Hermitage, PA/Hickory) and Bret Kelly (Tonawanda, NY/Tonawanda) scored on a throwing error. The Gators would plate another run in the top of the fifth to go up 4-1 thanks to an RBI single from Ethan Pawlak (Chardon, OH/Gilmour Academy). The Big Red would plate a run in the bottom of the fifth off of a sacrifice fly from Anthony Ruggieri (Pittsburgh, PA/North Hills), to pull within two. Denison's Brian McAuliffe (Tuckahoe, NY/Fordham Prep) homered in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at four-all before Cam Farren (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth scoring McAuliffe and giving the Big Red the 5-4 lead which would hold through the top of the inning for the win.

Krushena went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one scored run, while Vince Walker (Burtonsville, MD/Riverdale Baptist) went 2-for-4 with one scored run. For Allegheny, Austin Bristol (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park) went 3-for-5 and Vincent Carone (Erie, PA/McDowell) went 3-for-4.

John Troll (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit) earned the win on the mound for Denison after allowing just two hits and striking out six in 4.2 innings of work, while Nolan Thompson (McMurray, PA/Peters Township) was given the loss after giving up one earned run in 1.2 innings.

The Big Red were the first to score in Game 3 thanks to an RBI from Krushena. That would be the only lead that Denison held in the game, as the Fighting Scots would score two in the first, five in the second, seven in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the seventh. Denison would put up two runs in the eighth thanks to a double by Max Lahn (Charlotte, N.C. / Providence Day School). Wooster then put two more on the board in the bottom of the eighth which would end the scoring with the Scots taking the 19-3 victory.

Big hits for the Scots came from Dan Harwood (Brecksville, OH/Brecksville-Broadview Hts.) and Ben Gbur (Hilliard, OH/Hilliard Darby), as Harwood hit a three-run homer to put the Scots up 7-1 in the bottom of the second, while Gbur belted a grand slam in the fourth which gave Wooster a 14-1 lead. The Big Red were led by Lahn who went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one scored run, while McAuliffe, Grady Paine (McLean, Va. / The Hill School), Ty Robinson (Hoover, AL/Hoover) and Cam Farren (Indianapolis, IN/Brebeuf Jesuit Prep) all recorded one hit for Denison.

Evan Faxon (Cleveland Hts., OH/Hawken School) got the win on the mound for Wooster after scattering five hits and striking out six. Will McManaman (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) was given the loss.   

To end the day, Allegheny claimed a 4-1 victory over Wabash eliminating the Little Giants from the 2019 NCAC Tournament. Wabash ends the season with a 21-19 overall record. 

After a wild pitch, Allegheny's Bristol scored the first run of the game in the first inning. A Luke Chutko (Pittsburgh, PA/North Hills) double in the third put the Gators up 2-0. After a stoppage in play due to a power outage in the bottom of the fifth, the Little Giants put a run on the board after Jumonville singled to left center to score Erich Lange (Hamilton, OH/Fairfield) in the top of the seventh. Allegheny then plated two more runs in the bottom of the eighth off of a single up the middle by Ethan Pawlak (Chardon, OH/Gilmour Academy) to go up 4-1, which would stand as the final score.

Allegheny was led by Kelly who went 2-for-3 in the game, while Bristol scored two runs and Pawlak posted two RBI. Chavez, Lange, Jumonville and Austin Simmers (Jasper, IN/Jasper) all recorded one hit in the game. Joe Nagel (Sewickley, PA/Sewickley Academy) recorded the win after going 6.1 innings, allowing just three hits and striking out five while Dalton Donachie (New Springfield, OH/Springfield Local) posted the save. Tyler Dearing (Lafayette, IN/McCutcheon) was given the loss after four innings of work.

SEEDINGS:

After winning its league-leading 19th North Coast baseball title with a 13-3 record in conference play this season, Wooster (24-10 overall) has earned the top seed in the 2019 NCAC Baseball Tournament, which will be played this weekend, May  9 and 10, at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. Please note, the tournament will be played over two days due to graduation conflicts on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12. Should a team with a graduation conflict be eliminated from the tournament, Saturday and/or Sunday may be used as necessary.

Wooster, which also leads the league with 13 NCAC baseball tournament titles, will open play in the tournament on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. against fourth-seeded Wabash (9-8, 21-17). In the other opening round game on Thursday, second-seeded Denison (14-4, 34-6) will square off against third-seeded Allegheny (10-7, 21-15) at 1:00 p.m. In the regular season, the Fighting Scots earned a pair of wins over the Little Giants, 10-0, 8-7, and the Big Red took two from the Gators, 9-1, 8-7.

The double elimination tournament continues into Thursday evening with the winners of the first two contests squaring off at 4:00 p.m. with a slot in the championship round on the line, while the losers of the first two games will meet at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night in an elimination game.  

The final slot in the championship round will be determined Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. with the winner of game four taking on the loser of game three. The first championship game will be played Friday at 2:00 p.m. with game seven set for 30 minutes following the conclusion of game six if necessary. 

While Wooster leads the league with 13 NCAC baseball tournament titles, Ohio Wesleyan has captured eight tournament crowns, Allegheny owns three, Wabash has two and DePauw and Oberlin have one tournament title apiece.

TICKETS: The prices for admission to the 2019 NCAC Baseball Tournament are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. Each ticket is good for one day of admission at the tournament.