Baseball Heads to Coast Guard for Non-Conference Tilt

Baseball Heads to Coast Guard for Non-Conference Tilt

CASTLETON, Vt. – After battling inclement weather throughout the week, the Castleton baseball team will return to action for a non-conference contest at Coast Guard on Friday at 3:30 p.m.  

Castleton enters the final non-conference weekend of the regular season with a 5-6 mark after defeating Bard last Saturday, 14-4. Eight different Spartan batters reached base safely in the win, led by Pat Mumford (3-for-4), Dillon Benham (2-for-5), and Mitchell Caron (2-for-4). Charles Stapleford earned his second win of the season on the mound, allowing four runs on three hits with eight walks and eight strikeouts over six innings of work. 

The Spartans have tallied at least 12 hits in three of their last five games. Caron is off to a strong start offensively as he leads the squad in batting average (.371), on-base percentage (.488), hits (13), and doubles (5). Benham is coming off North Atlantic Conference Player of the Week honors and is batting .300 on the year with four doubles and a team-leading 10 RBI. Mumford (.290) and Alex Borsari (.289) sit third and fourth on the team in batting this season. 

Seven different Spartan pitchers have earned starts thus far, with Stapleford leading the way with a 2-0 mark and 20 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. Aaron Smith is 1-1 with a save in five appearances, while Joe Gratton is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 11.1 innings. As a staff, the Spartans are averaging 7.55 strikeouts per nine innings with a 4.06 ERA. 

Coast Guard enters the weekend 6-5 overall and 0-3 in the NEWMAC after falling to Emerson on Tuesday, 7-1. The Bears opened their season 5-1, but have lost four of their last five games dating back to March 23.

The Bears come into the matchup batting .284 as a team, led by Luke Thompson, who is hitting .488 with seven RBI in 43 at-bats. Jon Pressley (.350), Jeremy Lhotka (.325), and Will Stephens (.302) are all batting over .300 with at least 40 at-bats on the season. Pressley is pacing the offense with nine RBI, while Lhotka leads the team with eight runs scored.

Brett Sullivan has made three starts and is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 18 innings. PJ Gravelec (1-1) and Dustin Reeder (0-2) have each made two starts, while Nate Ralph, Jack Brandt, and Dan Finn have each made four appearances. Ralph is 1-0 and is averaging 9.90 strikeouts per nine innings to lead the staff, which currently owns a 5.07 ERA. 

Following Friday's contest, the Spartans are slated for 10 games over a seven-day stretch during spring break, including the NAC opener at New England College on Tuesday, April 3, and home opener two days later against Lyndon State on April 5.