COLUMBUS – The Capital University baseball team wrapped up the home portion of its 2014 schedule with back-to-back losses against Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at Clowson Field.
The Crusaders (11-21, 2-14 OAC), who recognized their 13-player senior class following the conclusion of play, were defeated 8-3 in the opener and 9-0 in the second contest.
In the opener, senior RHP Justin Hoying (Fort Loramie, Ohio) held the Polar Bears (23-11, 9-7) to just one hit through the first five frames before Ohio Northern put up five runs, including three on a home run, to take the lead for good.
Senior third baseman Ryan Pearson (Springfield, Ohio) led Capital with two doubles and three runs batted in, increading his team-leading RBI total to 28 for the year. Senior right fielder Andy Grillo (McArthur, Ohio) and junior first baseman Matt Carnahan (Moundsville, W.Va.) posted two hits apiece for the Crusaders, who out-hit the Polar Bears 9-7 in the affair.
Pearson doubled in senior left fielder Taylor Branisel (South Euclid, Ohio) in the seventh for Capital's first run. The Crusaders drew to within 6-3 in the eighth on Pearson's two-run double to right center. Carnahan singled through the left side in the next at-bat, but Pearson was thrown out at home trying to score on the play.
The Polar Bears, who drew eight walks in the game, added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
Hoying (1-3) took the loss, allowing four earned runs in six innings of work. Senior left-hander Kevin Brennan (Mason, Ohio) tossed the final three frames in relief.
In the nightcap, Ohio Northern slowly added to its lead and took complete command with a four-run top of the ninth. The Polar Bears finished the contest with 16 hits, while Capital totaled six hits and committed three errors.
Junior shortstop Austin Underwood (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) tallied a pair of hits to lead the Crusaders. Pearson, Grillo, Carnahan and freshman third baseman Logan Bastin (Lexington, Ohio) each registered a hit. Bastin and Carnahan made back-to-back, highlight-reel diving plays on ground balls for outs in the top of the fourth.
Freshman righty Tyler Spears (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) started and took the loss, striking out five in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Seniors Jared Lee (North Bend, Ohio) and Jeremy Finchum (Galloway, Ohio) each tossed scoreless stints in relief, while senior RHP Michael Flegal (Akron, Ohio) pitched the top of the ninth.
Following the game, Grillo, Branisel, Pearson, Hoying, Finchum, Brennan, Lee, Flegal and fellow seniors Nate Campbell (Latrobe, Pa.), Jake Nelson (Utica, Ohio), Anthony Calabrese (Hudson, Ohio), Brian Wyer (New Albany) and Anthony Klamic (Wooster, Ohio) were each recognized for their contributions over their careers at Capital.
Over the last four years, the Crusaders have compiled 59 wins, including 21 last season, good for a tie for second in program history for victories in a season. The 2014 senior class currently owns a collective 3.29 cumulative grade point average.
Capital closes the year Friday with an OAC doubleheader at Baldwin Wallace. First pitch begins at 1 p.m. in Berea.