CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – The Capital University baseball team swept a double header against the Milwaukee (Wis.) School of Engineering on Saturday afternoon, winning 4-1 in game one and 3-2 in walk-off fashion in the eleventh inning of the second game.
Both games were played at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Senior second baseman Anthony Calabrese (Hudson, Ohio) had an impressive day at the plate, going 4-6 with three runs batted in through the two games. Classmate in left fielder Taylor Branisel (South Euclid, Ohio) also enjoyed a solid outing, going 4-9 in the two games combined, including two runs scored.
Fellow senior in pitcher Jeremy Finchum improved to 2-1 on the season, winning game number one for the Crusaders, tossing six scoreless innings, while allowing just five hits and striking out two Raiders hitters. Senior Jared Lee (North Bend, Ohio) and sophomore Adam Journic (Akron, Ohio) relieved Finchum the final three innings, combining for one hit and one run, while Journic earned his second save of the season.
Game two's victory was given to freshman Shane Wellman (Moundsville, W. Va.), his first of the year, after he pitched a hitless 10th and 11th inning, following a strong outing by senior Kevin Brennan (Mason, Ohio) who went seven innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out seven Raiders in the process.
Senior right fielder Andy Grillo (McArthur, Ohio) helped the Crusaders ink the scoreboard first on a sacrifice fly that scored classmate in center fielder Nate Campbell (Latrobe, Pa.) in the bottom of the first inning.
Capital then put together another solid inning in the bottom half of the second, plating junior first baseman Matt Carnahan (Moundsville, W. Va.) on a single into left field by senior shortstop Brian Wyer (New Albany, Ohio).
Finchum then tossed a hitless third inning, retiring three Raiders hitters in order on a pair of groundouts and a fly out.
The Crusaders posted three scoreless innings between the third and fifth inning, before Calabrese drove in sophomore catcher Kirby Boehm (Worthington, Ohio) on a sacrifice fly to right field.
In the top half of the seventh inning, the Rangers struck for their first and only run of the game on a home run over the right field wall.
Calabrese added an insurance run for the Crusaders in the bottom half of the eighth inning, again scoring Boehm, this time on a double in the right center field gap.
Journic then saved the game for Capital, forcing two Raiders batters into groundouts, while catching the final batter of the game looking for a strikeout.
Neither team scored through the first three innings of the game, as Brennan struck out four Raiders hitters over that span, helping keep the opposing offense at bay.
Carnahan led off the scoring for Capital in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Branisel on the play. The Raiders then responded in the top half of the fifth inning on a single which scored one run following a defensive miscue by the Crusaders on the throw to first base.
The game remained tied through the top half of the sixth inning, until Branisel doubled down the right field line, then stole third base and advanced across home plate following an errant throw by the Raiders catcher on an attempted toss out.
With a 2-1 lead in tact for the Crusaders, neither team managed to score over the next two frames, before the Raiders manufactured a two hit inning in the top of the ninth, to which they eventually loaded the bases following a double down the left field line and a hit by pitch.
The Raiders then scored the tying run on another hit by pitch, before flying out to right field to end their half of the inning.
Wellman then entered the game for Capital in the top of the 10th inning, pitching two scoreless innings and advancing the Crusaders unscathed into the bottom of the 11th inning.
Senior third baseman Ryan Pearson (Springfield, Ohio) led off the Crusaders half of the 11th inning with a triple to right field.
Carnahan and pinch hitter in freshman Logan Bastin (Lexington, Ohio) were both intentionally walked following the Pearson triple, loading the bases and setting up Calabrese who was then hit by a pitch to advance Pearson across home plate for the winning run.