Capital Downed Twice by No. 12 Heidelberg

Outfielder Taylor Branisel rounds third base against Muskingum on April 13, 2013, at Clowson Field. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo).
Outfielder Taylor Branisel rounds third base against Muskingum on April 13, 2013, at Clowson Field. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo).

 

COLUMBUS – The Capital University baseball team suffered back-to-back setbacks Wednesday against 12th-ranked Heidelberg in an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at Clowson Field.

 

The Crusaders (11-11 overall, 2-6 OAC) fell in the opener 6-1 before leading early in the second game before eventually dropping a 14-5 contest.

 

In the nightcap, Capital jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Ryan Pearson (Springfield, Ohio) to plate senior centerfielder Nate Campbell (Latrobe, Pa.).

 

The Student Princes (22-4, 7-1) squared the affair at 1-1 in the top of the second, then plated four in the top of the third to take a 5-1 advantage. Junior left fielder Christian Ross (Bucyrus, Ohio) scored on a double play in the bottom half of the third to cut the Crusaders' deficit to 5-2, but the 'Berg answered with three in top of the fourth to take a commanding lead.

 

After a four-run fifth by Heidelberg, Capital responded with three in the bottom half. After a run-scoring single through the right side by Campbell, senior right fielder Taylor Branisel (South Euclid, Ohio) sent his second home run of the season over the wall in right for a two-run homer to make it 12-5.

 

Campbell and Branisel each totaled three hits to lead the Crusaders, who were outhit 19-10 in the contest.

 

Senior right-hander and starter Jeremy Finchum (Galloway, Ohio) dropped to 2-3 with the loss. Freshman righty Jacob Sheaf (Cincinnati, Ohio) made his Capital debut and struck out three in two innings of scoreless relief.

 

In the first game, the Crusaders cut a two-run deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI single to left center by Branisel.

 

Heidelberg went on to plate four unanswered runs, including three in the top of the sixth, to break open a close game.

 

Sophomore catcher Kirby Boehm (Worthington, Ohio) reached base in all four of his plate appearances, tallying three hits and a walk. Campbell registered two hits and scored a run for Capital, which left eight runners on base.

 

Junior RHP Robert Fravel (Port Clinton, Ohio) allowed three earned runs in six innings, but fell to 2-3 with the loss. Freshman right-hander Shane Wellman (Moundsville, W.Va.) and senior righty Sam Sifferlin (Wooster, Ohio) combined for three innings of scoreless relief.

 

The Crusaders return to play Thursday for a non-conference game at Denison. First pitch in Granville, Ohio, is slated for 5 p.m.