BANGOR, Maine – The nation's top-ranked pitching staff was once again on full display Sunday afternoon, as Devin Hayes and Davis Mikell fired back-to-back complete game shutouts to lead the Castleton baseball team to a season sweep of Husson with a pair of 1-0 victories in a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader at Alfond Diamond.
With the wins, Castleton reached the 30-win mark for the third consecutive season and moved to 30-7 overall, while wrapping up its NAC regular season with a 21-3 mark. Husson fell to 21-18 on the season and 13-11 in league action with the losses.
Castleton 1, Husson 0
Hayes went toe-to-toe with Husson starter Ben Holmes in the opener, and the senior came out on the winning end of another pitching duel with his second consecutive complete game shutout. Hayes faced just 23 batters in the game, striking out six while scattering three hits over 7.0 scoreless innings to improve to 6-1 on the season and lower his earned run average to 1.65 for the year.
Josh Rylant continued to haunt Husson with his seventh-inning heroics for the second straight game. He delivered the go-ahead run with an RBI double in the top of the seventh to give the Spartans the only lead they needed. Mitchell Caron battled back from being down in the count, 1-2, to work a leadoff walk, and he scored all the way from first on Rylant's two-bagger that found grass in left center and skipped to the wall.
Husson had its best chance to break through in the bottom of the sixth after Logan Rogerson hit a two-out triple to left center. Hayes did not give in, however, fanning Mike Wong to end the frame and keep the game scoreless long enough.
Hayes pounded the strike zone throughout the entire game, needing just 82 pitches to finish the complete game effort without a walk and inducing nine groundouts.
Rylant and Jonathan Lindau led the Spartan offense with two hits apiece.
Holmes saddled the loss on the mound for Husson, allowing one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts in a complete game effort.
Castleton 1, Husson 0
Mikell continued the pitching dominance in the nightcap, matching his career high with 10 strikeouts while allowing three hits and one walk over 7.0 shutout innings to improve to 5-1 on the season and lower his earned run average to 0.92.
Castleton used a two-out rally in the top of the second to plate the game's only run. After Mikell struck out and Rylant grounded out to start the inning, Matt Jackson worked a walk before Caron singled through the left side. With runners on first and second, Dylan Bailey singled up the middle to score Jackson and give the Spartans the only lead they needed.
Mikell worked out of an early jam in the bottom of the third after David Hutchins and Conor Maguire led off with a pair of infield singles. After Cam Archer bunted both runners to second and third, Mikell dug deep to get a strikeout and an inning-ending fly out to keep the Eagles off the board.
Husson put two runners on base again in the fifth via walk and single, but Mikell powered back-to-back strikeouts to maintain the one-run lead. That proved to be the final threat of the afternoon for Husson, as Mikell struck out three of the last six batters he faced over the final 2.0 perfect innings to secure the shutout victory.
Dillon Benham went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Spartans offensively, while Caron, Bailey, and Henrik Barbin each finished with a hit in the contest.
Ryan Allender (2-2) shouldered the loss on the mound for Husson, allowing one earned run on four hits and four walks with three strikeouts over 6.0 innings. Nick Guerrette allowed one hit over 1.0 scoreless inning of relief for the Eagles.