DELAWARE, Ohio – The Capital University baseball team took to the diamond for the first time since returning from Florida. Cap traveled to Ohio Wesleyan University to battle the Battling Bishops. Daniel Walters and Doug Conner each recorded a home run in the 10-8 victory.
Ohio Wesleyan jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Michael Blatchford started the home half of the first with a single to right center. Colin Stolly then singled to the shortstop to put runners on first and second with no outs. After a wild pitch moved the runners up a base, Aaron Strausbaugh drew a walk to load the bases for the Battling Bishops. Devin Van Winkle drove in the run as he reached on a fielder's choice to the shortstop.
Capital responded with a run in the top of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Senior Daniel Walters (Concord, Ohio / Riverside) led the inning off with a single to left field. Sophomore Joe Caporale (Mayfield, Ohio / Mayfield) singled to left field, which put runners on first and second with one out. Junior Connor Hopkins (Highland Heights, Ohio / Benedictine) notched a two-out single right field which scored Walters.
The Battling Bishops added two runs, three hits, and one Capital error in the bottom of the second. In the home half of the fourth inning, OWU plated two runs, on two hits. Ohio Wesleyan led 5-1 after four innings of play.
Senior Logan Bastin (Mansfield, Ohio / Lexington) reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. Junior Alexander Smith (Elk Grove, Calif. / Cosumnes Oaks) then reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to put runners on second and third with no outs. Walters grounded out to the shortstop, but drove in Bastin from third. Senior Brett Colburn (Liberty Township, Ohio / Lakota East) doubled to left field, which plated Smith from second. Colburn advanced to third on a passed ball. He then scored when the shortstop dropped a fly ball off of the bat of freshman Tyler Osborne (Newark, Ohio / Newark). Hopkins then doubled to left field which knocked in sophomore Sean Pettibone (Ashville, Ohio / Teays Valley) who pinch ran for Osborne.
The game remained tied at 5-5 until the top of the seventh inning. Walters started the inning off with a solo blast to left field to put Cap up 6-5. Colburn reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and Caporale was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Cap. Senior Justin Ennis (Vista, Calif. / Vista) laid down a sac bunt to move Colburn to third and Caporale to second with one out. Junior Jake Foley (Pataskala, Ohio / Licking Heights) drew a walk to load the bases for Cap. Sophomore Doug Connor (Pataskala, Ohio / Watkins Memorial) pinch hit and cleared the bases with a grand slam to left center to put Cap up 10-5 as the game went to the bottom of the seventh.
After OWU drew two walks to start the home half of the seventh, Mitchell Johnson ripped a triple to left center, which cut the Cap lead to 10-7. Johnson scored on a single by John Rings and cut the lead to 10-8.
Walters finished the day with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, with a home run and two RBIs. Sophomore Alex Mukensturm (Tecumseh, Mich. / Tecumseh) picked up the win and improved to 2-0 on the season. Mukensturm pitched three innings in relief and gave up two hits and tallied one strikeout. Junior Joseph Borkey (Kirtland Hills, Ohio / Lake Catholic) earned a save to make it his third on the year. Borkey pitched two and a third innings to close out the game with three strike outs and surrendered two hits.
With the victory, Cap improved to 8-2 on the season. The Crusaders return to action tomorrow as they host The College of Wooster in the home opener at Clowson Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.