Castleton, Vt. – Castleton's offense was running on all cylinders on Monday afternoon, pounding out 20 hits and scoring in all but one inning on the way to a 23-1 victory over Norwich.
The Spartans ripped a season-high 20 hits as they improved to 5-4 overall. The 23 runs is also the most for the team since Castleton beat Maine-Presque Isle 23-3 on April 9, 2010. Norwich dropped to 1-9 with the loss.
Junior Matt McNamee was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with 5 RBI and one run. Senior Ryan Zielinski was impressive at the top of the lineup, going 4-for-6 with four runs and four RBI. In all six different players recorded multiple hits as Castleton put a runner on base in every inning, scoring in all but the fourth.
Sophomore Derek Osborne earned the win on the mound, scattering six hits over 6.0 innings while striking out four and walking just one. Freshman Conner Johnson was even more impressive in relief, pitching 3.0 innings, facing 11 batters and recording eight strikeouts while giving up a single hit and walk.
Tyler Lord walked and Zielinski singled to open up the game. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners over and Connor Hoagland singled home the team's first run. McNamee followed with a two RBI single to left, to make it 3-0 Castleton after one inning.
In the second the Spartan offense kept going, putting up four runs with RBI coming from Zielinski, Joe Borowski, Macyn Clifford and McNamee. One inning later Castleton extended its lead to 10-0 with three more runs.
After a quiet fourth, the Spartans erupted for five runs in the fifth. Mat Pause hit a leadoff single and Lord followed with a walk. Zielinski drove them both home with a double and Borowski raked a triple to make it 13-0. Clifford also added an RBI double and McNamee an RBI single in the inning.
Castleton added two more runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Brian Martin and one more in the seventh on a throwing error. Norwich also got on the board in the seventh, scoring on a passed ball.
In the eighth 11 players came up to bat, as the Cadets couldn't locate their pitches and the Spartans took advantage. Castleton grinded out five runs in the frame and Johnson closed out top of the ninth by striking out the side.
Norwich finished with seven hits on the day. Charles Schaub finished 1-for-4 and scored the team's lone run. Nicholas Gendron took the loss for the Cadets, going just 1.0 inning and fiving up three runs while striking out two and walking two.
Lord drew a team-high four walks, one of 12 free passes given by Norwich on the day. Pause was also walked twice and had a pair of hits.
The Spartans return to action on Thursday when they host NEC for a doubleheader beginning at 2 pm.