COLUMBUS – The Capital University baseball team nearly came all the way back from a six-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth Monday but came up just short in a 6-5 setback against Otterbein in the first game of an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at Clowson Field.
The Crusaders (10-8 overall, 1-3 OAC) were defeated 19-0 in the nightcap.
In the opener, the Cardinals (12-6, 1-2) led 6-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, when Capital made its push to tie or walk off with the win.
After walks by senior left fielder Taylor Branisel (South Euclid, Ohio) and senior third baseman Ryan Pearson (Springfield, Ohio) to start the frame, junior first baseman Matt Carnahan (Moundsville, W.Va.) hit an infield single, and Branisel scored from second on a throwing error to put the Crusaders on the board.
After another walk, junior pinch hitter Christian Ross (Bucyrus, Ohio) hit an infield single that plated Pearson from third to make it 6-2. Junior shortstop Austin Underwood (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) came through with a single through the left side to score another run.
Following the first out of the inning, senior centerfielder Nate Campbell (Latrobe, Pa.) made it a one-run game with a two-run single up the middle.
With runners on first and second, Otterbein induced a 5-3 double play to end the contest.
Underwood finished with two hits to lead the Capital offense.
Junior right-hander Robert Fravel (Port Clinton, Ohio) scattered 12 hits but kept the Crusaders in the game, stranding seven Cardinal runners during the game to keep Capital within striking distance. He surrendered just two earned runs in seven-plus innings of work, dropping to 2-2 with the loss. Senior left-hander Jared Lee (North Bend, Ohio) tossed the final two innings.
In the second game, the Cardinals combined to score six runs in the first two innings and didn't look back, recording 16 hits in the affair. The Crusaders committed five errors and were unable to string together any of their seven hits.
Senior left-hander Kevin Brennan (Mason, Ohio) took the loss, dropping to 0-2 on the year.
Sophomore catcher Kirby Boehm (Worthington, Ohio) talled two hits to lead the offense.
Capital continues conference play Saturday at Wilmington. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m.