Spartans Down Thomas, 5-2; Game Two Halted in Fifth Inning

Spartans Down Thomas, 5-2; Game Two Halted in Fifth Inning

WATERVILLE, Maine – The Castleton baseball team opened its four-game series at Thomas with a 5-2 victory on Friday afternoon in North Atlantic Conference action at H. Allen Ryan Field. Game two of the doubleheader was halted in the top of the fifth inning due to darkness with the Spartans leading, 7-2, and will resume at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning.

With the win, Castleton improved to 13-9 on the season and 7-2 in NAC play. Thomas fell to 3-17 overall and 1-5 in conference action following the loss.

Mitchell Caron, Jonathan Lindau, Dillon Benham, and Pat Mumford each finished with two hits to lead the Spartans offensively in the opening contest.

Joe Gratton fired six strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while scattering seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts to earn his team-leading fifth win of the season.

Each team took advantage of a defensive miscue to plate a run in the first inning. After Davis Mikell worked a walk and was replaced by Lindau on a fielder's choice, Caron sent a shot to right field that was misplayed and allowed Lindau to score from first.

Thomas quickly responded with a run on two hits in the home half of the first. Isaiah Arena and Alex Curtis singled to put two on with two away, before Nicholas Cousins reached on a defensive error at shortstop as the tying run crossed the plate.

Castleton regained the lead with three runs on the strength of four hits in the top of the third. Lindau led off with a single up the middle and scored one batter later when Caron blasted a two-run homer. Benham started things back up with an opposite-field single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate on an RBI single to left center by Mumford to stretch the Spartans lead to 4-1.

After Thomas cut the deficit to 4-2 in the home half of the third with an RBI ground out by Cousins, Castleton reclaimed its three-run lead with a run on two hits in the fifth. Caron once again sparked the Spartans with a leadoff double, before Benham traded places with him with a long RBI double to deep center field as the Spartans extended their lead to 5-2.

Thomas brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, but Gratton worked out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam with a fly out to come away unscathed. Aaron Smith pitched a perfect seventh to earn his second save of the season and secure the 5-2 victory for the Spartans.

After the conclusion of game two on Saturday, Castleton and Thomas will play the final two games of the series with first pitch slated for 12 p.m.