By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
FRANKLIN, Ind. – Capital University Baseball's full array of skills were on display against Franklin College on Sunday in the team's two games, the first a 5-3 loss and the second a 4-0 Capital win.
In the first of the day's two games, the Crusaders scratched out a run in the third inning, the first score of the game. With two outs, back-to-back singles from Zackary Ary and Alexander Smith put runners on first and second and Shane Lyons reached on a throwing error to load the bases. Tyler Osbourne stepped to the plate and battled to earn a walk, bringing Ary home and giving Capital the lead.
The Grizzlies scored twice in the bottom of the frame but Capital game right back in the top of the fourth to tie the game at two when Connor Hopkins scored on a wild pitch.
In the top of the seventh inning, Ary singled up the middle and scored Joe Caporale to give Capital a 3-2 lead but again the Grizzlies responded.
Franklin started the bottom of the seventh with three singles that loaded the bases. The next batter, Brandt Pawley, brought in the tying run on a fielder's choice and a ground out from Ryan Erlandson scored another run, putting Franklin ahead 4-3. The Grizzlies scored an insurance run in the eighth, an RBI single from Jackson Freed. In the top of the ninth, Doug Connor entered the game as a pinch hitter and reached with a double down the line in left but he was the only Crusader to put the ball in play.
Ary led Capital with two hits in the game. Patrick Avellano started the game on the mound for Capital and allowed four runs in six innings while striking out five but walking four and allowing only three hits. Aaron Leming started for Franklin and struck out seven.
The Crusaders fared better in the second game of the afternoon and the team's pitching kept the Crusaders in the contest until they were able to score themselves. Ross Thompson pitched all nine innings of the 4-0 shutout win, striking out four while only giving up four hits.
Capital was also held scoreless for the first three innings of the game but a sacrifice fly from Lyons scored Ary for the game's first run. Ary led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a passed ball and a ground out.
The Grizzlies were able to limit the damage in that inning but in the eighth the Crusaders struck for two more. Caporale led off the inning with a single and advanced on a ground ball out from Ary. After Smith got hit by a pitch, Lyons added to his RBI total for the game with a single up the middle that brought Caporale home. Richardson then brought Smith around to score with a ground out.
Drew Ellis scored another insurance run in the top of the ninth on a throwing error. In the bottom of the ninth, Thompson allowed two baserunners to reach but two fly outs put Franklin against the wall and he struck Frank Podkul out swinging to end it.
The loss was Franklin's first of the season and the win pulled Capital's record to 8-8. Thompson improved to 2-0. Lyons knocked three of Capital's seven hits in the game and led the Crusaders with two RBIs.
The Crusaders have a quick turnaround and will play two games at Wittenberg University on Monday, March 19 after rescheduling the two games. The first game of the series will begin at 3:30 p.m.