Baseball Looks to Keep Rolling with NEC, Lyndon On Deck

Baseball Looks to Keep Rolling with NEC, Lyndon On Deck

CASTLETON, Vt. – With heavy playoff implications on the line, the Castleton baseball team will host New England College for a doubleheader on Thursday at 2 p.m. before traveling to Lyndon for a twin bill against the Hornets on Friday at the same time.

Castleton is in control of its own destiny in terms of hosting rights for the tournament. The Spartans are currently riding a 12-game winning streak and enter the final stretch of the regular season in first place with a 22-9 overall record and 16-2 mark in league action. Lyndon (14-14, 10-4 NAC) comes in ranked second in the conference, while NEC (21-11, 10-6 NAC) is right behind in third place.

Castleton capped off another unbeaten week with four straight walk-off victories over Husson last weekend. Davis Mikell belted two game-winning hits on Saturday, while Mitchell Caron was the hero with back-to-back walk-offs on Sunday. Joe Gratton picked up his team-leading seventh win of the season on the mound with a complete-game effort Saturday.

NEC comes in 2-3 over its past five games with a pair of doubleheader splits against Lyndon and Thomas over the weekend. The Pilgrims dropped a non-conference bout to WPI on Monday, 7-5.

Xavier Nunez leads the Pilgrims offensively with a .396 batting average, leads the NAC with 35 RBI, and is tied for the league lead with four home runs. Evan Delaney is batting .368 with a league-leading 24 stolen bases, while Jameson and Justin Carey have combined for three home runs, 26 RBI, and 43 runs scored. As a team, the Pilgrims rank second in the conference with a .289 average.

Nick Powers and Shayne Audet have proven to be a strong 1-2 punch on the mound, as the duo has combined for 12 wins with 125 strikeouts in 97.1 innings. Stanley Vargas has made an impact in recent games as he holds a 1.17 ERA in 7.2 innings with 13 strikeouts.

The Spartans faced NEC twice this season and came away with a doubleheader split early in the year. The Pilgrims shocked the Spartans in game one, 21-5, before Castleton rebounded with a stunning 6-0 victory in game two behind a complete-game shutout by Garrett Moran. Jonathan Lindau belted a three-run home run to spark the Spartans offensively.

Lyndon will put a five-game winning streak on the line when Castleton comes to town on Friday. The Hornets are coming off a doubleheader sweep over Colby-Sawyer on Tuesday with 6-3 and 16-5 victories.  

Castleton took the first two games of the series with Lyndon, 4-2 and 5-2. The Hornets took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning of game one, but Castleton plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the opener. In game two, the Spartans opened an early lead en route to the victory. Cameron Goulet and Andy Kenosh each picked up their second wins of the season in the doubleheader sweep.