By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Baseball took the field on Tuesday afternoon for a non-conference showdown with Hiram College and despite allowing only one hit, the Crusaders were defeated 4-3.
Hiram scored the first run in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly from PJ Suso that scored Kyle Harris who reached after being hit by a pitch. Capital went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first and neither team scored again until the Crusaders tied the game in the fifth. After two outs to start the frame, Shayne Lyons doubled to left and then Joe Caporale singled him home.
In the sixth inning, Suso was hit by a pitch again and again came around to score on an error made at third by the Crusaders.
In the seventh inning, Capital was able to wrestle back the lead with two runs. Cameron McCloud led off the inning with a walk and then advance to second as Lyons was awarded first on catcher's interference. During Caporale's ensuing at bat, Hiram's catcher attempted to pick off McCloud at second but threw the ball into center field which let McCloud take third. Hiram's centerfielder charged the ball and then attempted to scoop and throw but dropped the ball, allowing McCloud to score and Lyons to reach third from first. Lyons later scored from third on a balk and the Crusaders led 3-2.
In the top of the eighth inning, Curtis Caithaml struck out swinging but the ball was dropped and then Capital's throw to first was a poor one that allowed the Terriers to get the leadoff man aboard. Caithaml then stole second and Suso walked to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt then moved both runners ahead and Gavin Taulbee connected on Hiram's first hit of the game, a shot to center that scored Caithaml. A wild pitch later in the inning allowed Suso to score from third and take a 4-3 lead.
Capital put a runner on third in the eighth and recorded a single in the ninth but could not rally to tie the score or retake the lead.
As a staff, Capital pitchers struck out 10 batters and allowed just the one hit. Only two of Hiram's runs were earned as the Crusaders committed three errors. Anthony Gannon started for Capital and pitched six innings while striking out five and allowing two runs, one earned. Gannon was relieved by Bryant Caporale who did not allow a run in one inning and then Ryan Metcalf struck out four in two innings while giving up a pair of runs, one earned.
The Crusaders will play another Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 6 at Marietta College. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.