By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
FRANKLIN, Indiana – After some scheduling shuffling, Capital University baseball took the field at Franklin University for the first game to the team's three-game set against the Grizzlies and got out to an early lead. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, the lead was not enough to overcome a late-inning surge from Franklin and the Grizzlies took Game 1 10-6.
Leading 6-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Capital had done a good job of establishing its offense early. The Grizzlies remained persistent though and after being down by as many as four runs, they responded with two runs in the fourth and sixth innings. However, the seventh inning was where the game got away from the Crusaders.
Franklin started the frame with a double and two batters later the tying run scored on a bunt single. The Grizzlies then loaded the bases and a single brought one run home and kept the bases juiced. Another single repeated the cycle and Sam Claycamp, who homered for Franklin earlier in the game, drew a bases-loaded walk that gave the Grizzlies an 8-6 lead.
An RBI-groundout increased Franklin's lead to three and then a wild pitch allowed Claycamp to score Franklin's 10th run.
Capital was unable to muster any late-inning runs and fell by that final score.
Earlier in the game, the Crusaders caught fire right out of the gate with four first-inning runs. Shane Lyons brought Zackary Ary home with a double to left for the first run of the afternoon and Lyons came around to score on a Dan Walters single to left. Capital went up 3-0 on a Connor Richardson single that scored Walters and Richardson advanced all the way to third on the throw. He then scored on an RBI single from Drew Ellis.
Franklin pulled one back in the bottom of the first but Capital came right back in the second after Ary reached base on a wild pitch, advanced to third and then scored on a throwing error by the catcher.
Two runs scored for Franklin in the fourth and in the fifth, Claycamp hit a two-run home run that cut Capital's lead to just one before the Grizzlies had their big inning.
Lyons led the way for Capital at the plate with three hits and a walk and he brought two home. Ary went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
On the mound, Joseph Borkey pitched three innings of four-hit ball to start for Capital and allowed three runs. The senior struck out six while also issuing six walks. Borkey was relieved by Clay Piatt who allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings and Alex Muckensturm took the loss with five runs (two earned) in an inning of work. Casey Hamrick pitched the final five outs of the game.
The Crusaders will still be able to win the three-game series on Sunday when the teams will play a doubleheader starting at noon. The second game will immediately follow the first.