WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Capital University baseball team travelled to No. 20 and crosstown rivals, Otterbein University Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals took game one, 10-7, but the Crusaders bounced back to win game two, 5-4, in the Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader.
Game 1 – Otterbein 10, Capital 7
Otterbein plated two runs in the bottom of the first, when Pat Birrer homered to right field.
Senior Justin Ennis (Vista, Calif. / Vista) led the top of the third inning off with a single to left center. Junior Alexander Smith (Elk Grove, Calif. / Cosumnes Oaks) doubled down the left field line, to put runners on second and third with no outs. Freshman Beau Otto (Cincinnati, Ohio / Roger Bacon) reached on a fielder's choice, which allowed Ennis to score and Smith to advance to third. Senior Logan Bastin (Mansfield, Ohio / Lexington) was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Cap. Senior Tyler Cetnarowski (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio / St. Vincent-St. Mary) grounded into a fielder's choice, but scored Smith from third.
The Cardinals regained the lead, 3-2, in the home half of the third inning. Tim Snyder was hit by a pitch with bases loaded.
Junior Connor Hopkins (Highland Heights, Ohio / Benedictine) started the top of the fourth inning as he reached base safely and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Senior Brett Colburn (Liberty Township, Ohio / Lakota East) reached base safely on a dropped third strike by the catcher. Hopkins advanced to third on the play. Hopkins then scored on a passed ball, allowing Colburn to advance to second. Smith then singled to the third baseman and was able to advance to second on a throwing error by the third baseman. Colburn scored on the play. Otto then laid down a bunt single and advanced Smith to third. Cetnarowski singled up the middle to score Smith and Otto. Cap held its first lead of the game, 6-3.
Otterbein rallied with six runs in the home half of the fourth to reclaim the lead, 9-6.
The Crusaders added a run in the top of the seventh, when Smith singled through the left side. Sophomore Doug Connor (Pataskala, Ohio / Watkins Memorial) scored on Smith's single.
The Cardinals added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, making the final score 10-7.
Craig Prince got the win for Otterbein, while Caleb Norton picked up his sixth save on the year.
Smith led all hitters in game one with a 5-for-5 performance at the plate. He also scored two runs and drove two runs in.
Game 2 – Capital 5, Otterbein 4
With one out in the top of the third, Capital drew back-to-back walks that were followed by a hit batter. With the bases loaded, senior Jake Foley (Pataskala, Ohio / Licking Heights) grounded out to the first baseman, but Cetnarowski scored from third for the first run of the game.
The Cardinals answered with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third off of the bat of Bryan Stopar.
The Crusaders cut the lead to 3-2 when Smith hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Sophomore Joe Caporale (Mayfield, Ohio / Mayfield) tagged up and scored.
Cetnarowski led the top of the fifth off with a walk. Connor then singled to the shortstop and advanced Cetnarowski to third. Foley then singled to right center, which allowed Cetnarowski to score. Ennis was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Capital. Caporale drove a ball to center field for a sac fly, Connor scored. Cap held a 4-3 lead after seven innings of play.
The Crusaders added an insurance run in the top of the eighth, when Otto reached on a fielder's choice and allowed Caporale to score.
Otterbein added a run in the bottom of the ninth, but could not tie the game and force extra innings.
Junior Joseph Borkey (Kirtland Hills, Ohio / Lake Catholic) got his first start of the season on the mound. Borkey went six innings and fanned six Cardinals. Sophomore Alex Mukensturm (Tecumseh, Mich. / Tecumseh) earned his first save of the season. Mukensturm went three innings in relief, with four strike outs.
Caporale led the way for Cap with a 2-for-4 game, with two runs and an RBI.
With the split, Capital is now 13-10 overall and 3-3 in the OAC. The Crusaders return to action on Sunday as they travel to Oberlin College for a game that was rescheduled. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.