Spartans Split NAC Doubleheader Against Lyndon

Spartans Split NAC Doubleheader Against Lyndon

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton baseball team split a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader against Lyndon on Thursday afternoon at Spartan Field. Castleton won the opening game, 8-1, before falling to the Hornets in the nightcap, 5-4. The Spartans are now 26-7 on the season and 17-3 in the NAC, while Lyndon moves to 18-16 overall and 11-11 in league play.

Castleton 8, Lyndon 1

Castleton came on strong down the stretch in the opener, with all eight runs coming over the final four frames. The Spartans plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Dillon Benham led the inning off with a single to left field, and after Zach Bahan was hit by a pitch, he scored on an RBI double down the right field line by Davis Mikell. After Bahan was erased on a play at the plate, Dylan Bailey lined a single to left center to score two runs and give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.

After Lyndon closed the gap to 3-1 on an RBI single from Jason Doris in the top of the sixth, the Spartans broke the game open with a two-out rally in the home half. Ryan Wadsworth, Bailey, and Nick Patierne each worked walks to load the bases, before Deagan Poland was hit by a pitch to make the score 4-1. With the bases still loaded, Benham lofted a fly ball to left field that was misplayed and allowed all three runs to score. Bahan capped off the scoring with an RBI double to left center to extend the Spartan lead to 8-1, which proved to be the final after a scoreless seventh inning. 

Bailey went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBI to lead the Spartans offensively. Steven Jurkiewicz pitched 6.0 strong innings to earn the win on the mound. The senior allowed one earned run on five hits with three strikeouts to improve to 5-1 on the season. Scott Michaels pitched a scoreless seventh inning to preserve the victory.

Sam Ognenoff shouldered the loss on the mound for Lyndon with three eared runs on four hits over 4.0 innings. Jake Jordain pitched a scoreless fifth, before Codi Smith allowed five runs (one earned) with three walks in the sixth. Devon Rollins led the Hornets offensively with two hits and a run scored.

Lyndon 5, Castleton 4

Castleton came within one out of completing the season sweep over Lyndon, but a two-out, two-RBI double by Andre Eason Jr. in the top of the seventh sparked the Hornets a comeback victory in the nightcap.  

Matt Jackson gave Castleton an early lead in the bottom of the first with a single up the middle, scoring Benham, who earlier made his way on base via hit-by-pitch. 

After Lyndon scored one run in the second and added two more in the third to take a 3-2 lead, Castleton responded with single runs in the next two frames to retake the lead. Bahan started the third by reaching on a fielding error, and he later came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Jackson to tie the game. Two walks and two hit-by-pitches gave the Spartans a 4-3 lead in the fourth after Davis Mikell took an inside pitch off his shoulder with the bases loaded.

That lead held until the top of the seventh when Lyndon found life after a single and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second. Down to their final out, Eason Jr. gave the Hornets the lead with a double to left field. The Spartans went down in order in the seventh as the Hornets held on for the 5-4 victory.

Charles Stapleford saddled the loss on the mound for Castleton, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits with eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings.

Andrew Whalen earned the win for Lyndon with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.

The Spartans will return to action on Saturday for a NAC doubleheader at Husson starting at 1 p.m.