Baseball Lands Five on All-NAC Teams

Baseball Lands Five on All-NAC Teams

WATERVILLE, Maine – After helping lead the Castleton baseball team to the regular season North Atlantic Conference title with a 21-3 league record for the third consecutive year, five members of the Spartan squad have landed on All-NAC teams, announced Friday by the league office. 

Davis Mikell, Dillon Benham, Jonathan Lindau, and Joe Gratton all received First Team All-Conference accolades, while Mitchell Caron earned Second Team honors. 

Mikell led the Spartans offensively during the regular season with an impressive .370 clip and .516 on-base percentage against conference foes. He tallied 27 hits and 25 runs scored to go with six doubles, a triple, a home run, and 14 RBI in 24 league contests. The sophomore has collected six multi-hit performances, including a 3-for-5 game against Husson, which included a walk-off single as part of back-to-back game-winning hits in a doubleheader sweep of the Eagles. Mikell has played in every game this season and is batting .350 overall with a .503 on-base percentage, eight doubles, and four home runs. 

Benham earned First Team honors for the second consecutive season after being named NAC Player of the Week twice in 2018. The junior registered a .370 batting average in conference action with 11 extra base hits and 21 RBI. He tied Mikell for the team lead with eight doubles and added a triple and two home runs to his resume with a .459 on-base percentage. Benham has come alive in recent weeks with 10 hits in his last six games, including three straight contests with two hits. In a 12-8 victory over NEC, he blasted a game-tying triple and later parked a three-run home run to help the Spartans erase a five-run deficit and earn a come-from-behind triumph.

Lindau has been the backbone of the Spartans offensively and defensively, as he has caught every game behind the plate, including all three games in a tripleheader against UMF earlier in the season. The senior posted a .333 average with eight doubles and 21 RBI in league action during the regular season. He worked 12 walks and added six multi-hit games against NAC opponents. Lindau continues to be a force behind the plate, anchoring a strong pitching staff while throwing out 11 of 36 runners for a .306 caught-stealing percentage on the season.

Gratton is second in the conference with seven wins and went 4-0 in conference action in his first season as a full-time starter for the Spartans. The junior hurled two complete games and struck out 21 batters with a 2.88 ERA in 25.0 innings against league foes. He fanned six batters in a complete game three-hitter against UMF to lead Castleton to a tight 2-1 victory over the Beavers in the series opener. On the season, Gratton has made 11 appearances and is 7-2 with two complete games and a 3.19 ERA in 42.1 innings pitched.

Caron reached base safely in 23 of 24 conference matchups during the regular season. He batted .365 versus NAC opponents with a .458 on-base percentage while belting six doubles, one home run, and a team-high 22 RBI. The junior recorded a season-long eight-game hitting streak during the middle of the season that included a 3-for-4 performance with three RBI and three runs scored in a victory over NEC. Overall, Caron is slashing .349 with 12 extra base hits and 29 RBI primarily out of the cleanup spot for the Spartans.

Aaron Smith earned a spot on the 2018 NAC Sportsmanship Team, which is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the baseball culture and environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that goes beyond the playing rules and etiquette. To view the full NAC postseason awards release, click here.

Castleton (27-10, 21-3 NAC) is set to host the NAC Championship this weekend at Spartan Field. The top-seeded Spartans will take on fourth-seeded UMF in the opening round at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.