Crusaders edge Denison in 13 innings
An RBI single by Ryan Pearson in the bottom of the 13th inning powered the Capital Crusaders to a 6-5 victory over Denison on Friday in Bexley, Ohio.
Senior Tim Duxbury was struck by a pitch to open the 13th inning. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Duxbury advanced to third on a ground out to second by fellow senior Lowell Hall. Duxbury crossed the dish on an RBI fielder's choice by Charlie Apfelbach.
In the bottom of the frame, Connor Murphy returned to the hill for his seventh inning of relief. After surrendering a lead-off single, the junior hurler fanned Matt Carnahan for the first out of the inning. On the strikeout, Taylor Branisel stole second to move into scoring position. With the bases now loaded and two down, Pearson laced a single to center that scored Branisel and the game-winning run, Dean Langholz.
The Crusaders grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the first behind an RBI single by Branisel and a one-run double from Brandon Natale. Capital added to its lead in the second when a base hit up the middle by Nate Campbell scored Pearson from third.
In the fifth, junior Andrew Touhy pushed Denison's first run across with a double to right center. Touhy's two bagger scored Apfelbach from second base. The Crusaders quickly answered in the bottom of the frame when Branisel cleared the wall in right field.
Senior Kyle Clemmenson matched Branisel's feat with a long ball of his own in the sixth. Clemmenson's seventh-career homer sailed over the left field wall. With two outs in the seventh, senior Danny Kraus ripped a triple to center field that scored Touhy. That swing of the bat gave Kraus three triples and three RBIs on the season.
With the bases now loaded in the seventh, sophomore Ryan Mulligan worked a base-on-ball to drive in Kraus. The score remained tied at 4-4 through the final two and a half innings, forcing extra frames.
Mulligan paced the DU offense with three hits, including a double, and an RBI. Apfelbach, Touhy, Kraus and Clemmenson each logged two hits, an RBI and a run. Murphy suffered the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in 6.2 innings out of the pen. The junior fanned a career-high 10 hitters and issued just two walks. Kyle Colgain got the start, allowing four runs on eight hits with seven Ks in six innings.
Branisel went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs, while Campbell also logged three hits with an RBI. Reliever Sam Sifferlin picked up his first win of the season after giving up an unearned run on three hits in five frames.
Denison falls to 2-6 on the year, while Capital improves to 7-5. DU returns to action on Saturday when they host a doubleheader against Ohio Northern University. Game one of the twinbill is slated to begin at 1 p.m.