By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
WILMINGTON, Ohio – Capital University Baseball hit the road for a mid-week doubleheader at Wilmington College and for the first time this season completed an Ohio Athletic Conference sweep.
Game 1 – Capital 4, Wilmington 2
The Crusaders got on the board quickly as Drew Ellis led off the game with a single and then advanced to second on a balk. Junior Shayne Lyons then singled to the outfield and Ellis wheeled around third and scored the opening run.
Wilmington leveled the score in the second but the Crusaders regained the lead in the second. Both teams scored a run in the fifth with Lyons delivering a run-scoring double.
Capital struck twice in the sixth when Cole Callaghan singled in two but the Crusaders really took control of the game in the eighth. Bryce Grisez became Capital's first baserunner of the frame with a single and then a wild pitch allowed him to advance to second. A single from Beau Otto moved Grisez along again and the freshman scored on a single from Callaghan. An error allowed Capital's second run of the inning to score. A double from Ellis scored two more as the Crusaders continued to pile on and then Lyons brought Ellis home to conclude the five-run eighth with Capital ahead 9-3.
After Wilmington scored twice in the eighth to make it a 9-5 game, Capital went back to work in the ninth to get those runs back. Grisez doubled to start the inning and Otto laid down a bunt single that allowed Grisez time to race to third. Callaghan then lifted a ball in the air that was caught but Grisez tagged up and scored on the sacrifice fly. Mitchell Bodden singled and then Lyons walked to load the bases but the Crusaders could not inflict further damage and settled for a 10-5 lead.
The Quakers pulled a run back in the ninth but could not complete the comeback.
Callaghan finished the game 2-for-3 with a career-high four RBIs. Both Lyons and Ellis went 3-for-5 while Lyons batted in three and Ellis scored two. Otto scored two runs and went 3-for-3.
On the mound, starter Nick Beck went 4.2 innings and struck out one while allowing two runs. Bryant Caporale relieved Beck and went 1.2 frames and Clay Piatt pitched the final 2.2 innings. Caporale allowed one run and Piatt allowed three.
Game 2 – Capital 6, Wilmington 4
The day's second game got off to a much slower start than the first one but again the Crusaders started with the lead. After three scoreless frames to open the game, Capital struck for two runs in the fourth. Connor Richardson led off the inning with a double and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Brandon Barnette. Grisez singled Richardson home for the first run of the game. Otto followed suit with a single of his own, sending Grisez to third, and stole second. Callaghan then put a ball in the air to left and Grisez scored.
In the sixth, Ellis and Lyons led off with back-to-back singles and Joe Caporale ripped a single to left, scoring Ellis. Richardson followed with a grounder that put Caporale out at second but allowed Lyons to get to third. A wild pitch gave Richardson enough time to scurry to second and the mishap hurt Wilmington when Barnette singled up the middle and both runners scored.
Wilmington got on the board in the seventh with an RBI double but the Crusaders got the run right back in the eighth when Lyons grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Bodden.
Wilmington made things interesting with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. A double, a hit by pitch and a walk loaded the bases and another walk gave Wilmington its first run of the frame. After a pitching change, Wilmington drew another free pass and a hit by pitch allowed another run to trot home. With the bases still loaded though Anthony Gannon struck out Jake Hyatt to leave them juiced and escape from the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Gannon struck out the first batter and the last to end the game with a fly out sandwiched in between.
Lyons and Grisez both went 4-for-5 with an RBI and Ellis went 3-for-5. Barnette's two RBIs led the team. Tate Virts pitched 7.0 innings in the start and struck out four while allowing one run. Gannon struck out three in 1.1 innings.
The Crusaders will be at home on Friday, April 19 when Baldwin Wallace University comes to town for another conference doubleheader. First pitch at Clowson Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.