By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
OBERLIN, Ohio – Capital University Baseball's traveled north to Oberlin College on Saturday to take on the Yeomen in a doubleheader originally scheduled to be played at Capital's Clowson Field. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, Capital dropped a pair of one-run games, including the second contest of the day that was called due to darkness in the eighth innings.
Game 1 – Capital 7, Oberlin 8
In the first game of the day, the Crusaders went three up, three down in the first inning, Oberlin put the first man on base via a walk. Jacob Thompson then smacked a triple to right center to score the opening run. Jack McGowan then followed that with a run-scoring single to give Oberlin a 2-0 lead.
In the third inning, Connor Richardson grounded out to start the frame but Shayne Lyons picked him up with a triple to center. With Drew Ellis at the plate, an error by Oberlin's third baseman allowed the sophomore to reach first safely and for Lyons to score.
The Yeomen responded with a leadoff double and a run-scoring single. After the double, Oberlin singled again and worked a walk to load the bases. Another run-scoring single staked Oberlin a 4-1 lead.
After a scoreless third, the Crusaders' offense found a spark through a leadoff single from Lyons. Ellis walked to give Capital another base runner and Konnor Black doubled off the wall below the yellow line, narrowly missing a home run. Still, the hit brought Lyons home and moved Ellis to third. Catcher Ben Bethay then singled in two runs with a single to the centerfield grass and advanced to second on a throwing error.
Oberlin regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth and then added another run in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead. The Crusaders then mounted another comeback in the eighth though and took the lead. After a ground out to start the inning, Ellis singled to put a man on and Black doubled to give Capital men on second and third. As Capital's next batter, Bethay left no doubt about where the ball was going as he sent it over the fence to put the Crusaders up 7-6. Oberlin did not give up though and in the bottom of the inning hit a home run of their own, a two-run blast that made it an 8-7 game.
With three more outs in the game for the Capital, Beau Otto led the ninth off with a single and Joe Caporale singled as well. Richardson though then grounded into a double play and Lyons flied oud to end the game.
Capital went 14-for-40 at the plate as a team and five Crusaders had multiple hits. Bethay went 2-for-4 with the home run and five RBIs. Black went 3-for-4, Caporale was 3-for-5, Lyons went 2-for-5 and Ellis was 2-for-3.
Alex Mukensturm started the game for Capital and allowed six hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four. Tate Virts then pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed one run. Nick Beck came in to pitch the remainder of the game and allowed two runs and took the loss.
Game 2 – Capital 7, Oberlin 8 (8 innings, darkness)
The Yeoman struck quickly again in the second game of the day with another first-inning score and led 1-0 until the third. In the third inning, Cameron McCloud drew a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Oberlin's pitcher threw another wild pitch and McCloud advanced to third. Otto then singled to center to tie the game.
Again though, Oberlin answered with an RBI single in the third and a run scored in the fourth on a fielder's choice. In the fifth, Oberlin's J. Thompson hit a two-run homer and Oberlin led by four. Three more runs in the sixth made it a seven-run lead for the Yeomen.
In the eighth inning, Tyler Osbourne led off the frame with a double down the line in left and Otto worked a walk. Ellis then loaded the bases with a single that moved everyone ahead and Capotale was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. After a pitching change, Richardson worked another walk and the bases were left juiced for Lyons.
The junior first baseman then stepped up to the plate and rocketed a grand slam over the wall in left cutting the deficit to only one run with no outs. Unfortunately for the Crusaders though, they could not keep the rally going and the game was called due to darkness.
Lyons finished the game 2-for-4 with the home run and four RBIs. Ellis and Andrew Klamfoth also went 2-for-4.
Capital will be back in action on Tuesday, March 19 with a home doubleheader against Wittenberg University in Capital's home opener. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Clowson Field.