By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Baseball hosted Muskingum University for an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at Clowson Field on Tuesday afternoon and dropped both games of the two-game set. The Crusaders went down 10-0 in the day's first game before nearly pulling off a comeback but falling 12-10 in the second game.
Game 1 – Muskingum 10, Capital 0
The Fighting Muskies started the game quickly with a run in the first inning and never looked back. Muskingum's most prolific inning was a four-run second as two runs scored on a single and then two errors led to the other two runs. Another two-run single in the third made it a 7-0 game.
Capital's pitchers worked scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth innings but Muskingum added to its lead in the sixth and seventh. Yet another two-run single in the sixth made it a 9-0 game and an RBI single completed the scoring in the seventh.
The Crusaders managed only six hits in the game and were led offensively by Beau Otto. The second baseman went 2-for-3 with a walk. Clay Piatt started the game for Capital and gave up seven runs, four earned, in three innings. Nick Beck pitched the next four innings and allowed three runs before Bryant Caporale finished the game without allowing a run. Each pitcher struck out one batter.
Game 2 – Muskingum 12, Capital 10
Capital's offense was much improved in the second game of the day but unfortunately for the Crusaders that was not reflected in the final result. Again Muskingum jumped out to an early lead with two first-inning runs but the Crusaders responded quickly with a run of their own in the bottom of the first.
The Muskies scored two more in the second inning but the Crusaders answered again with a single by Cole Callaghan that scored Dakota DeStefano. Muskingum had another four-run inning in the third inning and then scored two more in the fourth to take a 10-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Otto led off with a double and then Callaghan laid down a bunt single that moved Otto to third. Back-to-back singles from Bryce Gisez and Drew Ellis scored two runs to cut the deficit to six runs.
In the fifth, Connor Richardson led off with a double and Ben Bethay doubled him home to score another run. Bethay then advanced to third on an error and scored as Callaghan grounded into a fielder's choice. A single from Ellis eventually scored Callaghan and Capital trailed by only three runs.
Muskingum scored two more in the seventh to restore a five-run lead but the Crusaders made it interesting in the ninth. Bethay drew a walk to start the inning and was replaced by Alex Stefanelli as a pinch runner. Mitchell Bodden singled to the outfield and then Otto reached on an error to load the bases. Callaghan then worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in a run.
After a pitching change, Capital's next two hitters were retired before Shayne Lyons earned a bases-loaded walk of his own. A wild pitch that got away from Muskingum's catcher then allowed Otto to scurry home and make it only a two-run game. Infielder Joe Caporale struck out looking on a high fastball to end the rally.
Ellis finished the game 4-for-6 with two RBIs from the leadoff spot and also pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing one run and striking out two. Grisez went 3-for-5 and Callaghan was 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs. Richardson and Lyons each had two hits as well.
The Crusaders will be off until the weekend when they head to Otterbein University for a rivalry showdown with the Cardinals. First pitch in Westerville is scheduled for 1 p.m.