By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
ADA, Ohio – Capital University Baseball traveled to Ohio Northern University on Monday afternoon to play a rescheduled doubleheader against the Polar Bears and after dropping the first game came out on top in the second. The Crusaders fell 11-10 in extra innings to start the twin bill before winning 5-1.
Game 1 – Capital 10, Ohio Northern 11 (10 Innings)
An inning later though, Capital showed that it's one-run third was just the warmup by exploding for five runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth.
Shayne Lyons began the fourth by reaching on an error and taking second on a passed ball. Joe Caporale followed that with a walk and Connor Richardson bunted the par ahead a base. Andrew Klamfoth then was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Shortstop Drew Ellis got the scoring started with a double to left field that brought Lyons and Caporale home. Beau Otto then followed Ellis with a two-run hit of his own, a single that scored Klamfoth and Ellis and tied the game at five. After a single from Cole Callaghan, Bryce Grisez then singled home Otto and Capital went ahead 6-5.
The next inning, Caporale led off with a double. After an out by Richardson, Klamfoth drew a walk and both scurried ahead a base on a wild pitch. Ellis then walked as well to load the bases. After a pitching change for ONU, Otto connected with a pitch for a single that scored Caporale and then a throwing error by ONU's centerfielder allowed Klamfoth to scurry home. Another passed ball then gave Ellis enough time to sprint home and Capital led 9-5.
The Polar Bears regained the lead in the seventh though with five runs but Capital tied the game in the ninth. Otto led off the inning with a single and was moved over on a sacrifice bunt from Mitchell Bodden. A double from Grisez past third base scored Otto but the Crusaders were unable to take the lead back for themselves.
Ellis came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and retired ONU's batters in order to send the game to extra innings. Only one additional inning of baseball was required though. In the bottom of the 10th, ONU started the inning with a back-to-back singles and then ONU's lead runner advanced to third on a wild pitch. Luke Klinehoffer then singled to center to end the game.
Gutstein pitched 6.1 innings with three strikeouts while allowing six runs. Tate Virts then came in and allowed four runs while recording only one out. Nick Beck allowed only one hit in 1.1 innings and Ellis gave up the game-ending run.
At the plate, Otto finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Caporale went 2-for-4 with two walks. Ellis brought in two runs and went 1-for-4 with two walks.
Game 2 – Capital 5, Ohio Northern 1
The second game of the day was shaping up to be quite the pitchers' duel as neither team was able to score until the sixth inning. The Crusaders struck first with a run-scoring single from Ellis after Lyons led off the inning with a single and Caporale doubled.
An inning later the Crusaders added to the lead as Callaghan singled to lead off the inning and then Lyons launched his second home run of the season to put Capital up 3-0.
A one-run single from Grisez in the eighth and RBI double from Ellis in the ninth put Capital up 5-0. The Polar Bears scored one run in the bottom of the ninth but could not complete the comeback.
Starting pitcher Alex Mukensturm turned in his best performance of the season for Capital as he threw a complete game and allowed only the one late run. The senior surrendered six hits and walked six while striking out 10, a career high.
Lyons finished the game 4-for-5 at the dish with the homer, a double, three runs scored and two RBIs. Ellis went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and both Caporale and Callaghan each had two hits as well.
The split improved Capital's overall record to 5-14 and the Crusaders are now 1-3 in Ohio Athletic Conference play. Capital will host Hiram College on Tuesday, April 2 at Clowson Field for one game before jumping back into OAC play this upcoming weekend. First pitch against the Terriers is scheduled for 4 p.m.