AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Capital University baseball team combined strong pitching with a balanced offensive performance Saturday to defeat Rose-Hulman (Ind.) 7-1 in a non-conference contest at Lake Myrtle Park.
After falling three times in Alabama to begin their spring break trip, the Crusaders (5-3 overall) took all five of their contests in Florida. Capital defeated Rose-Hulman, the 2012 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season champion, for the second time during its trip.
Junior pitcher Jeremy Finchum (Galloway, Ohio; at right) tossed eight innings to move to 1-1 on the season. The right-hander scattered 10 hits and induced 16 ground-ball outs, including a pair of double plays.
Senior designated hitter Dean Langholz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and senior shortstop Jacob Thuman (Westerville, Ohio) each went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the Crusaders' offense. Thuman and junior left fielder Taylor Branisel (South Euclid, Ohio) knocked in two runs apiece, while Langholz and senior first baseman Brandon Natale (Westerville, Ohio) both scored twice.
After three scoreless innings, Capital scored in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a 5-0 lead. Branisel highlighted the stretch with a two-out, two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning. Thuman knocked in Natale with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
The Engineers (1-5) tallied their first run of the game in the top of the seventh before Finchum pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam to evade further damage in the frame.
The Crusaders added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth as Thuman plated Natale again, this time with a base hit up the middle. Senior right fielder Patrick Jackson (Grove City, Ohio) brought home Langholz with a sacrifice fly.
Sophomore righty Derek Colston (Port Clinton, Ohio) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in his third appearance of the season.
Capital finished the contest with 13 hits, compared to 10 for Rose-Hulman.
The Crusaders are scheduled to resume play this Wednesday against Ohio Wesleyan in the team's 2013 home opener. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. at Clowson Field.