AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Capital University Baseball was king of the hill on Monday afternoon, defeating Alma College (Mich.) with nine inning of sound pitching. Alex Mukensturm contributed a quality start and the bullpen picked up the rest as part of the Crusaders' 3-1 win over the Scots at the RussMatt Invitational.
Sophomore Alex Mukensturm (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh) matched a career best with five innings of work and earned his first win of the season. He is now 4-1 overall in his career.
Mukensturm worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning after retiring the first two batters of the game. An error extended the inning and a pair of walks muddied the waters before the sophomore righty forced Alex Peczynski to fly out on a 0-1 count. He allowed runners to reach third in each of the next two innings but extinguished the Scots in each inning, keeping them off the board. The only blemish he allowed was one run that crossed the plate as a result of a base hit, two stolen bases, and a sacrifice fly, but by that time the Crusaders already had a three-run lead.
Capital (3-1) threw four different relievers to close the book on Alma (0-3), beginning with freshman Lunden Damuth (Oxford, Ohio/Talawanda). Damuth threw two scoreless innings, allowed just one hit and notched the first strikeout of his young career to help strand a pair of runners in the seventh.
Freshman Kole Carter (Gallipolis, Ohio/Gallia Academy) and junior Casey Hamrick (Westerville, Ohio/Worthington Christian) combined to throw a scoreless eighth, with Hamrick striking out pinch hitter Max Trucks to end the inning and strand two more runners on base.
Senior Brendon Borkey (Kirtland Hills, Ohio/Lake Catholic) came out of the pen just two days removed from his winning start against Waynesburg University (Pa.) and for the third consecutive day. Borkey mowed down the Scots in the ninth after allowing the leadoff man to get on base to earn the first save of his career.
Capital plated its runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings, scoring one in each frame. The Crusaders got on the board when sophomore Doug Connor (Pataskala, Ohio/Watkins Memorial) led the inning off with a single and later came around to score on a grounder to the right side hit by junior Connor Hopkins.
Cap added its second, and eventual game-winning run, in the fourth when once again the leadoff hitter got on base and later crossed the plate. Senior Tyler Cetnarowski singled and stole second base, which set up a two-out RBI single to center field by junior Travis Gilbert (Marion, Ky./Crittenden County). Capital's third run came when Brett Colburn reached on an error and later came around to score on Logan Bastin's double, giving Cap a 3-1 advantage.
Alma's Mike Mallory (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings pitched. He struck out five in the game.
The Purple and White will play Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in a single contest at Lake Myrtle Field #5 with first pitch set for 11:30 a.m.