Cap Baseball Can’t Find a Groove in Loss to Big Red

Pictured: Drew Ellis (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)
Pictured: Drew Ellis (photo credit: Joe Maiorana, Impact Action Sports Photography)

By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant

GRANVILLE, Ohio – Capital University Baseball traveled to Denison University on Friday to make up a game that was originally scheduled to be played several weeks ago but unfortunately for Capital, the Crusaders were not able to get in any kind of groove at the plate or on the mound as the Big Red won 13-1. The loss drops Capital to 2-8 this season.

The Crusaders looked dangerous early on and with one out in the top of the first inning, a walk to Drew Ellis followed by an error by Denison's shortstop gave Capital a pair of runners. Shayne Lyons then singled to juice the bases for Capital but Crusaders could not scratch out a run as a strikeout and groundout ended Capital's chance to strike while the iron was hot.

The inability to bring anyone one hurt the Crusaders as Denison scored four runs in the bottom of the frame. Starting pitcher Clay Piatt could only register one out before being relieved by Scott Gutstein. Before exiting, Piatt allowed one run to score via a sacrifice fly and he balked home another run with the bases loaded. Gutstein entered the game with the bases loaded and walked his first batter to give the Big Red three opening-inning runs. Another sac fly scored Denison's fourth run.

Denison added two more runs in the second inning with an RBI double and a run-scoring single.

The Crusaders found some life at the plate in the third though as Ellis smacked a double to left. Joe Caporale then singled Ellis home with another shot to left. That was all the scoring Capital could muster in the inning though and turned out to be Capital's only run of the game.

Denison went down in order in the third but scored another run in the fourth in the first of four consecutive scoring innings. The Big Red struck for three runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

Ellis and Lyons each had two hits for Capital and Ellis drew a walk. Caporale finished with the lone hit in four tries. As a team, Capital managed seven hits.

Piatt allowed four runs to take the loss despite not giving up a hit. Gutstein pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits. Denison scored six runs off of the sophomore but only three were earned. He struck out four. Nick Beck pitched the sixth inning and allowed two runs and Tate Virts took the ball for the final two innings and allowed only one run.

The Crusaders will now take the weekend to regroup as the team does not play until Tuesday. Capital will host Wittenberg University on March 19 for a doubleheader at Clowson Field. The games will serve as Capital's home-opening series. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.