Baseball Falls Short to Castleton, 4-5, 3-4

Photo by Monty Rand Photography
Photo by Monty Rand Photography

CASTLETON, Vt. – The late-inning magic continued for the Castleton University baseball team on Sunday afternoon, as the Spartans walked off twice more to sweep the Husson Eagles, 5-4 and 4-3, in a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader at Spartan Field. 

Husson baseball now has an overall record of 11-18 and 7-9 in the NAC. With the wins, Castleton improved to 22-9 on the season and 16-2 in conference play.

Davis Mikell scored the game-winning runs in both games on Sunday off the bat of Mitchell Caron while Eagles' Sam Huston rocked a three-run homer to kick off a rally for Husson in game one, powering behind the sole home run of the day.

GAME 1: Castleton 5, Husson 4

Castleton got on the board quickly in the opener with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first. Mikell singled to right field before back-to-back doubles by Lindau and Caron staked Castleton an early 2-0 lead.

The Spartans doubled their lead in the third inning with two more runs on two hits. Poland led off with a single and scored on a double to right field by Mikell. After Lindau drifted a deep fly out to advance Mikell to third, Caron came through with a sacrifice fly to stretch the Spartans' lead to 4-0 after three innings.

The Eagles began their comeback in the top of the sixth. Mike Wong opened the frame with a single and Alex Chapman walked before  Huston pulled a three-run homer to cut the deficit to 4-3. Garett Moran escaped further damage with an inning-ending strikeout to strand the tying run on third base.

In the top of the seventh, Conor Maguire worked a leadoff walk. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runner into scoring position, Chapman extended the game with a two-out RBI single to tie things up at 4-4.

Castleton strung together a two-out rally of its own in the bottom of the seventh. Mikell battled a walk to start things up and Lindau followed with a single to right-center. With two outs and the winning run on third, Caron sent a hard ground ball into the field and the Spartans took game one, 5-4.

GAME 2: Castleton 4, Husson 3

Husson struck first in the nightcap with a pair of runs in the third inning as Chapman drove an RBI triple to deep center field to send Wong home and scored one batter later on a wild pitch. The Spartans responded in the bottom of the third on a pair of RBI groundouts by Poland and Mikell to tie the game at 2-2.

On the mound for the Spartans, Charles Stapleford worked in and out of trouble through five innings, but another RBI double by Chapman in the fifth, once again scoring Wong, put the Eagles ahead, 3-2, down the stretch. Smith and Andy Kenosh tossed two scoreless innings of relief to keep the Spartans within one run heading to the last half of the seventh.

Down to their final at-bats, Andrew Graciano reached firs and Matt Braman came in to pinch run and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Poland, then Mikell was intentionally walked. Lindau drilled a deep fly ball to center helping Braman advance to third to put runners on the corners with two outs. Caron stepped to the plate and belted a deep shot to right field that landed near the bottom of the fence, scoring Braman and Mikell raced all the way around the bases just barely beating out the throw to home as the winning run to cap off the 4-3, come-from-behind victory for Castleton.

Cam Graham started for Husson, only giving up two runs on four hits with five walks and six strikeouts over six innings. Kenosh earned the win on the mound after pitching a scoreless seventh inning. Stapleford allowed three earned runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts over five innings.

By the end of the day, Huston tallied three RBI off a home run and Chapman earned three RBI with a double and triple.

Husson returns to action Tuesday for a NAC doubleheader at Thoma