By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Victory escaped the grasps of the Capital University baseball team when Transylvania University (Ky.) fought back to defeat the Crusaders, 5-4, in 10 innings on Friday night. Capital is now 7-5 overall as they enter a nonconference game with Denison University on Sunday afternoon.
Capital held a slim 4-3 lead over the Pioneers after the teams traded runs in the seventh inning, but facing their last six outs Transylvania tied the game as a result of a Capital error and then ended the game with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Junior Nick Beck (L, 1-1) took the loss after surrendering both the tying and game-winning runs over his three innings of work. A one-out walk to David McAnelly proved costly in the home half of the 10th. McAnelly stole second and then advanced to third after an error in center field. Beck then intentionally walked the bases loaded to help cut down the run at the plate but Hudson Chastain hit a walk-off single to plate the winning run.
Transylvania (4-5) took an early lead by scoring two runs in the top of the first against Capital starter Patrick Avellano (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta). The Crusaders got on the board when Connor Hopkin's leadoff walk in the top of the second led to Cap's first run. Ben Bethay (Lagrange, Ky./Old Ham County) drove him home with a groundout to the right side, set up by Joe Caporale's sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch that advanced Hopkins to third.
Three innings later with the score still 2-1 in favor of the hosts, Capital put together a two-out rally that netted the team two runs. Zackary Ary and Drew Ellis both drove singles and then advanced one base on a wild pitch. With two men in scoring position, Shayne Lyons (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) gave Capital its first lead with a two-run single up the middle.
Ellis (Doylestown, Ohio/Chippewa) was not done and was a part of another two-out run-scoring effort in the seventh. Bethay led the inning off with a single to center field and made way for pinch runner Alex Stefanelli. More small ball advanced him to second and another groundout placed him 90 feet away from scoring. Ellis then ripped a single through the right side to increase Cap's lead, 4-2.
Transylvania closed the gap with a run in the bottom of the seventh and then tied the game in the eighth. The Pioneers' leadoff man reached base by way of an error and then advanced to second on a sac bunt. With runners on first and second, another Capital error occurred while trying to turn a double play allowed the tying run to score.
Avellano finished with a no-decision, allowing two runs on six hits, five walks and three strikeouts.
Transylvania's Evan Patrick (W, 1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of work at the end of the game. Transy starter Jake Schmidt struck out eight Crusaders in six innings on the hill.
The top of the Capital order hit well, finishing 8-for-14 (.571) out of the top three spots in the order. Ary and Elli each finished 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored. After Lyons' 2-for-4 day, the rest of the lineup went just 3-for-23 (.130).
Capital now prepares for a Sunday afternoon game at Denison University on Sunday, March 9. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.