AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Capital Baseball earned its fourth win of the young season on Thursday with a 10-6 victory over Hanover College (Ind.). The Crusaders' top three hitters in the lineup account for more than half of the team's offense, including Brett Colburn's perfect day at the plate.
Capital (4-2) scored three times over the first two innings, using four hits and a Panther error to build an early lead. Junior Justin Ennis (Vista, Calif.) singled home a run in the opening stanza, followed by Capital added a pair in the second inning. Sophomore Zackary Ary (London, Ohio) began the two-out rally with a walk, and then stole second to set the table for sophomore Alexander Smith (Elk Grove, Calif.). Smith knocked a run-scoring double, and then scored when Junior Brett Colburn (Liberty Township) singled to left field to build the 3-0 lead.
The bottom of the order kicked off the first of two three-run innings by the Crusaders. In the bottom of the fourth, Tyler Cetnarowski was hit by a pitch, was granted second on a balk and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Smith hit the second of his two base hits, both for extra bases, plating one run and putting two runners in scoring position. Colburn stepped to the plate and continued his hot day with a two-run single to extend the Capital lead to 6-0, and prompted a pitching change.
The Panthers (0-1) tagged Capital starter Jacob Sheaf (Cincinnati, Ohio) with a run in the sixth with a solo home run by leadoff man Chris Ares, but the offense responded with three more runs in the bottom of the inning. All of Capital's run came with two outs and were all unearned after an error extended the inning and a bases-loaded walk to Ennis scored one run. Junior Tyler Gibbons (Liberty Township, Ohio) then tagged the Panthers with two more runs by hitting a single, making the score 9-1.
Sheaf (1-0) was hit for three runs in the seventh, but had more than enough support from the bats to solidify his first win of the season. The junior ended the game with a pair of strikeouts over 6.2 innings while surrendering four runs on eight Hanover hits. Hanover's five remaining runs came in the seventh and ninth innings.
Colburn was the star of the day, going a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and three RBIs. Four of his five hits were singles with his final base knock was a double. Smith went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Gibbons went 2-for-4 with two ribbies, as well.
Hanover's Cody Reister (0-1) took the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits over 3.2 innings of work. He struck out four, but walked two, hit one batter and balked once.
Capital now nears the end of their mid-semester break trip with two more games over the next two days. They will spend the duration of their stay in Auburndale, Fla. where they will play Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.) on Friday, March 4 and Clark University (Mass.) on Saturday, March 5. Game times are set for 12 p.m. and 9:30 a.m., respectively.