ORANGE, Calif. – Bouncing back from an early deficit, the Castleton University baseball team used three multi-run innings to knock off the nationally-ranked Chapman University Panthers at Hart Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Castleton snaps its four-game losing streak and improves to 2-4 overall, while Chapman falls to 8-3.
Staring down the hitter with two gone, Davis Mikell battled through several foul balls to induce a game-ending grounder to short to slam the door on a major upset. Recording his second save of the season, Mikell was impressive on the offensive side, as well, notching three hits and two RBI in the victory.
Falling behind in the bottom of the second as the host Panthers sent all nine batters to the dish and recorded four runs, the Spartans bounced back in the fourth.
Starting the inning by sending the first two batters to the base paths, Reece De Castro kept the line moving as he placed the ball down in the infield perfectly, forcing a rushed throw and an error. The runners – Matt Jackson and Mitch Caron – rounded the bases to make it 4-2.
Following a ground out that moved De Castro over, Pat Mumford singled to shortstop, beating out the throw to drive the runner home. Continuing his early success with a base knock, Deagan Poland moved Mumford up before an error scored the latter.
Stepping in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Mikell battled through multiple pitches before finding the one he wanted and driving it into left-center field. After the former tied the game at 6-6, Dillon Benham's groundout – scored Poland – and Mitchell Caron's single – scored Mikell – put the Spartans ahead for good.
Adding two insurance runs in the top of the ninth, the Spartans used three walks, a hit-by-pitch and a groundout to take a 10-7 advantage.
Stellar relief pitching was the key to Castleton's success as Andy Kenosh and Mikell combined for the final 2.2 innings without allowing a hit or a run. Starter Garrett Moran improved to 2-0 on the season by battling through some difficult innings to tame the Panthers lineup.
Baseball returns to action following a brief break as it returns to the northeast to face Bard College in a doubleheader beginning at noon on March 9.
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