AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Capital University Baseball improved to 4-1 overall following its 8-4 victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) on Tuesday. The top of the order put forth a solid offensive performance while Jacob Sheaf laid the groundwork for another quality output by the Cap pitching staff.
Senior Logan Bastin (Mansfield, Ohio/Lexington) got the Cruasders on the board first with his first home run of the season in the top of the first inning. Brett Colburn drew a walk preceding the blast, setting up for a two-run shot that put Capital up 2-0.
RHIT responded by plating one in the home half of the inning, using a walk and a two-out single to half Cap's lead. The Fightin' Engineers took the lead in the bottom of the third after taking advantage of a pair of errors by the Capital defense, and added one more run two innings later to stand pat with a 4-2 advantage heading into the sixth.
Capital chipped at the RHIT lead with one run in the top of the sixth, using a one-out walk to junior Alexander Smith (Elk Grove, Calif./Consumnes Oaks) to later score. Smith took second base on a wild pitch by RHIT starting pitcher Cody Sunderhaus. With two outs and two men on base following Daniel Walters being hit by a pitch, senior Tyler Gibbons (Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East) cranked a run-scoring single to left field, scoring Smith.
Down 4-3, Capital made one final charge in the top of the seventh with a five-run inning at the dish. Travis Gilbert drew a leadoff walk, promoting a pitching change by Rose-Hulman. Colburn set up a situation for runners on second and third following a Jake Foley single and sacrifice bunt, but the Fightin' Engineers elected to intentionally walk Bastin to load the bases. Smith then delivered a two-run single to plate the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run.
Capital was not quite finished when the next batter, senior Tyler Cetnarowski (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), knocked out a double to score another run and put the Crusaders up 6-4. Capital added two more runs on an error committed by RHIT shortstop Ryan Stachowski.
The 8-4 lead was more than enough for the Capital bullpen to hold to clinch the win. Joseph Borkey (Kirtland Hills, Ohio/Lake Catholic) and Tyler Spears (Washington Courthouse, Ohio/Washington) combined for three scoreless innings of relief and allowed just three base runners between them.
Senior Jacob Sheaf (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wilmington) earned his first win of the season and sixth of his career. He tossed six innings and gave up four hits and four runs, though only one run was earned.
The one through four spots in the Capital lineup went a combined 6-for-14 (.429) with four RBIs and scored six of Cap's eight runs. They also drew three of the team's six walks. Foley and Smith both recorded two hits to lead the team.
Capital is now 4-1 overall heading into the team's off day at the RussMatt Invitational. Capital last equaled that mark through five games back in 2014 and has achieved that just one other time (2012) since 2006.
Following the brief break, Capital will reengage with a doubleheader against Lyndon State University (Vt.) on Thursday, March 2. First pitch of game one will take place at 12 noon at Lake Myrtle Park Field #4.