NEW LONDON, N.H. – The Castleton baseball team closed the books on its regular season with a doubleheader sweep at Colby-Sawyer, 9-3 and 6-1, Tuesday afternoon in North Atlantic Conference action at Kelsey Baseball Field.
With the wins, Castleton improved to 27-10 overall and finished the regular season 21-3 in NAC action for the third consecutive year. Colby-Sawyer, meanwhile, fell to 6-25 on the season and 4-16 in league play.
The Spartans officially lock up the No. 1 seed and hosting rights for the NAC Tournament, which will take place May 4-6 at Spartan Field. Lyndon notched the second seed, while No. 3 seed New England College and No. 4 seed UMaine-Farmington round out the playoff field. Castleton will face UMF at 9 a.m. on Friday, while Lyndon and NEC will square off at 12 p.m.
Castleton 9, Colby-Sawyer 3
Dillon Benham led the Spartans offensively with two hits and three RBI in the opener. Davis Mikell, Nick Fecteau, and Pat Mumford finished with a hit apiece. The Spartans had at least one base runner in every inning as they worked 10 walks in the win.
Castleton jumped out to a quick lead with a pair of runs in the second, third, and fourth innings. Dylan Bailey and Steven Walsh took ball four in the second inning and came around to score on an RBI single by Mumford to get the Spartans on the board. In the third, Jonathan Lindau worked a walk and later scored on a wild pitch before Fecteau drove in Mitchell Caron with an RBI single to center to double the Spartans lead, 4-0. More inconsistent pitching by the Chargers in the fourth inning led to two more runs for the Spartans as Deagan Poland walked and Mikell was hit by a pitch before scoring on a two-run single by Benham to stretch Castleton's lead to 6-0.
Andrew Pratt got Colby-Sawyer on the board in the bottom of the fourth on a two-RBI single to right field to cut the deficit to 6-2.
The Spartans struck for three more runs in the top of the sixth on one hit, three walks, and a hit by pitch. After Mikell was hit on an inside pitch, Lindau and Caron posted back-to-back walks to load the bases. All three runners crossed the plate on a wild pitch, an RBI single by Benham, and a passed ball to extend the Spartan lead to 9-2.
Connor Henry added an RBI single to left field in the home half of the seventh, but Sam Sylvain recorded the final three outs to secure the 9-3 victory for the Spartans.
Charles Stapleford improved to 3-1 on the mound, allowing two earned runs on three hits with four walks and seven strikeouts over four frames. Cameron Goulet scattered two hits over two scoreless innings of relief in the victory.
Castleton 6, Colby-Sawyer 1
Castleton used a pitcher by committee in the nightcap, with Joe Gratton, Garrett Moran, Andy Kenosh, and Jacob Nadeau all seeing time on the mound. Mikell and Caron led the Spartans offensively with two hits apiece.
Castleton got off to a fast start with a run in each of the first two innings. With two outs in the top of the first, Lindau was hit by a pitch and Caron drove him in one batter later with an RBI single to left field. Once again with two down in the second, Poland drove in Ryan Wadsworth from second on a single to center to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
Colby-Sawyer cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Cummiskey. The Chargers were looking to tie the game in the fifth with runners on the corners and one out, but Kenosh induced a key inning-ending double play to keep the Spartans in front, 2-1.
Castleton busted the game open with four insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Mikell opened the frame with a triple to right center and scored after Lindau reached safely on an error in right field. Back-to-back singles by Caron and Benham put runners on the corners before another defensive mistake brought home a run and Wadsworth capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center as the Spartans went on to win by a final score of 6-1.
Gratton picked up the win with four strikeouts over two scoreless innings.