LANCASTER, Ohio – The Capital University baseball team was in action Wednesday afternoon as they took on Ohio University-Lancaster. The Crusaders won, 14-0, led by Alexander Smith's solo home run and a grand slam by Doug Connor.
Capital started the scoring in the top of the first. Sophomore Alexander Smith (Elk Grove, Calif.) hit a solo shot over the right center field wall, his second on the season. After two consecutive errors by the Cougars, sophomore Daniel Walters (Concord, Ohio) singled to center. The hit allowed senior Tyler Cetnarowski (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) and junior Logan Bastin (Mansfield, Ohio) to score on an error made by the center fielder.
The Crusaders scored again in the top of the third inning. After Smith led the inning off with a single down the left field line and stole second, Bastin doubled to right center allowing Smith to score. After a walk and a hit batter to load the bases, sophomore Travis Gilbert (Marion, Ky.) got hit by a pitch that scored Bastin. Sophomore Patrick Avellano (Alpharetta, Ga.) scored on a passed ball. Capital extended its lead to 6-0.
After four scoreless innings, the Crusaders added two more runs in the top of the eighth. Bastin singled to center field which plated junior Brett Colburn (Liberty Township, Ohio/ Lakota East). Sophomore Jared Bass (Warrington, Pa.) drew a bases loaded walk that scored Bastin.
Capital exploded for a six-run ninth inning. Gilbert led the inning off with a single up the middle. After a sac bunt moved Gilbert to second, junior Brent Shannon (Greenfield, Ohio) walked. Sophomore Connor Hopkins (Highland Heights, Ohio) doubled to left center, which allowed Gilbert and Shannon to score. After a walk and an error loaded the bases, freshman Doug Connor (Pataskala, Ohio/ Watkins Memorial) blasted a grand slam to left center, the first home run and grand slam of his career.
Smith finished the day 3-for-4 with a home run and two singles. He also added two runs and a stolen base. Connor finished the day 2-for-3, and led the team with four RBIs. The Crusader offense tallied a season-high 14 runs and tied a season-high with 15 hits. All but one of Capital's batters reached base safely at least once.
The Crusaders' pitching was strong Wednesday as well. Freshman Gabe Morris (Pataskala, Ohio/ Newark Catholic) picked up his first career win. Morris went five innings, struck out seven and surrendered only one hit. Freshman Alex Mukensturm (Tewmseh, Mich.) struck out five batters in three innings of relief. Sophomore Clayton Ebbrecht (Pickerington, Ohio/ Pickerington North) added two strike outs in his lone inning of relief. As a whole, the Crusaders' pitching staff struck out 14 batters, surrendered three hits and only walked three batters.
Capital improves to 9-5 on the season. The Crusaders return to action to face conference foe, Heidelberg University. This will be the home opener for Capital and first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, March 25 at Clowson Field.