By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It took almost eight hours at Clowson Field to decide but as the sun was setting, Capital University Baseball swept its doubleheader against the University of Mount Union on Saturday with a 3-2 victory in the first game of the day and a walk-off in the bottom of the 15th inning in the seconds game.
Game 1 – Mount Union 2, Capital 3
The first game of the day started rather quietly for both teams with only three combined hits in the first two innings and both teams went down in order in the second inning.
In the third, Mount Union got on the board first with a pair of runs but the Crusaders struck right back. Joe Caporale led off the bottom of the third with a walk and advanced to second on a single by senior Alexander Smith. Caporale then scored on a double to left center by Connor Richardson and Smith scored a batter later on a sacrifice fly by senior Daniel Walters.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Smith reached on an error to give Capital a leadoff runner and then advanced to third on a groundout and wild pitch. Walters again flew out but Smith was able to tag and score to give Capital a 3-2 lead. From there, the Crusaders shut down the Purple Raiders to earn the win.
Senior Patrick Avellano pitched the first six innings before being relieved by fellow senior Joseph Borkey in the seventh. Borkey stayed on to pitch the final three innings to get the save while allowing only one hit and striking out four.
Smith finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Walters had the two RBIs.
Game 2 – Mount Union 4, Capital 5 (15 Innings)
The second game of the afternoon was a four-hours and 10-minute marathon that started quickly but grinded to a halt until the bottom of the 15th inning.
With the score tied at 4-4, Beau Otto led the Capital half of the 15th off with a single. He then was moved into scoring position on a bunt single by senior Zackary Ary. Smith flew out to center. Again, Richardson stepped up to the plate and rocketed a single that found the outfield grass and allowed Otto to score, sending the Capital dugout into a frenzy as the Crusader rushed the field to meet Richardson in the infield.
Richardson finished the game 3-for-6 with the game-winning RBI and a run scored. Ary went 4-for-6 in the game with an RBI and run scored and Drew Ellis was 3-for-7.
Mount Union scored twice in the opening frame but Capital pulled a run back in the bottom of the first when Smith singled in Ary. Mount Union then extended its lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning before two runs in the bottom of the eighth for the Crusaders tied the game. Shane Lyons drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to cut the deficit to one run and then a sac fly by Ben Bethay knotted the game.
Each team got a run in the 11th inning and Capital loaded the bases in the 13th but it was not until two innings later that the game was decided.
Nick Beck got the win for the Crusaders for pitching five innings in relief after coming in in the 11th inning and allowing only one run on five hits.
The Crusaders will have a quick turnaround as they will play a pair against the nationally-ranked College of Wooster on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.