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Castleton Spartans

Moran Battles Early Adversity; Baseball Earns Comeback Victory in Season Opener

Moran Battles Early Adversity; Baseball Earns Comeback Victory in Season Opener

LOS ANGELES – Three runs in the fifth inning and a solid start from Garrett Moran powered the Castleton University baseball team to a 3-2 win over Whitworth University at Anderson Field – on the campus of Occidental College – on Friday afternoon.

Opening the season with a victory, Castleton improves to 1-0 to begin the year. Meanwhile, Whitworth falls to 3-4 overall.

Trailing 2-0 heading into the fifth, Castleton strung together four hits and capitalized on an error to score three times. Following a quick out, Brayden Millet got the rally started with a grounder just out of the reach of the Pirates' diving third basemen.

Three straight sacrifice bunts – one of which went for a single and another forced an error – led to two runs to knot the contest. Stepping into the box with a runner on third, Davis Mikell stroked an RBI single between first and second to give the Spartans the lead.

Castleton proceeded to load the bases with a John Stewart III walk and an infield single from Mitchell Caron but was unable to plate any runners.

Garrett Moran earned the win on the mound for the Spartans after going five innings and allowing just two runs. After working through a tricky first inning, Moran bounced back, inducing several early-count outs. The righty hurler struck out six, walked one and allowed four base knocks.

Out of the pen, Andy Kenosh, Joe Gratton and Mikell combined to toss four scoreless innings. Kenosh did not surrender a hit over 1.2 innings while striking out one. Gratton got one out in the seventh before mowing down the order in the eighth. Switching from first base, Mikell came on for the save and rung up one Pirate en route to slamming the door shut.

In the opening frame of the contest, Whitworth made a quick out before earning a walk and an infield single. Rebounding immediately, Moran struck out the next batter to strand the runners momentarily. After a wild pitch advanced the Pirates' players to second and third, Tyler Bailey found the right-center gap and motored to a 2-RBI triple. Preventing further damage, the Castleton pitcher closed the inning with another strikeout.

The Spartans collected seven hits during the contest, led by Millet and Matt Jackson who each recorded two.

Baseball returns to action after a day off as it faces Occidental College in a doubleheader at Anderson Field, slated to begin at 11 a.m. PDT on Sunday.


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