Mikell's Late Blast Lifts Spartans to Season-Opening Win over Pomona-Pitzer

Mikell's Late Blast Lifts Spartans to Season-Opening Win over Pomona-Pitzer

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Davis Mikell smashed a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning and tossed the final 2.0 scoreless innings on the mound to help lead the Castleton baseball team to a season-opening 6-3 victory over Pomona-Pitzer on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.

Mikell, Dillon Benham, Jonathan Lindau, and Matt Braman each recorded a hit apiece in the win. Aaron Smith scattered six hits and two unearned runs over 3.0 innings of relief to pick up the victory on the mound for the Spartans.

With the score locked at 3-3 entering the eighth inning, Deagan Poland led off with a walk and Benham beat out an infield single to set the stage for Mikell with two runners on base. Mikell stepped to the plate and drilled a three-run home run well beyond the fence in right field to give the Spartans a 6-3 lead.

Mikell took over on the mound in the bottom half of the inning and hurled the final 2.0 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts to pick up the save. The Sagehens threatened with the tying run at the plate in the home half of the ninth, but Mikell slammed the door with a strikeout to cap the victory for Castleton.

Pomona-Pitzer (4-2) struck first with a run on two hits in the bottom of the first off Spartan starting pitcher Scott Michaels. Brian Knapp opened the game with a single up the middle and later came around to score on an RBI single by Jeremiah Quezada.

Castleton quickly responded to tie things up at 1-1 in the top of the second on a two-out RBI single by Braman to score Lindau, who worked a walk to start the inning. Mikell and Lindau scored again on a pair of errors in the top of the third to give the Spartans their first lead of the season, 3-1. 

The Sagehens battled back to level the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth on back-to-back two-out RBI singles to right field by Jeremy Jess and Quezada. Smith worked his way out of trouble the rest of the way before Mikell made the difference with one swing in the eighth.

Michaels pitched 4.0 innings and scattered three hits with one earned run and two strikeouts but did not factor in the decision. Luka Green saddled the loss for the Sagehens after surrendering three earned runs on two hits without recording an out in the eighth.

Castleton (1-0) returns to action on Monday to face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (7-3) at 5:30 p.m. EST/2:30 p.m. PST