BANGOR, Maine – Dakota Aker (Scotia, N.Y.) went the distance on the mound, allowing three earned runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts as Castleton State College defeated Thomas College 4-3 in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) East Division Baseball Tournament.
The Spartans, 20-19 overall, advance to the NEAC East Final against Husson University tomorrow at 12 pm. The Terriers season ends at 13-26 overall.
Thomas' pitcher Chris Farrar (Sidney, Maine) was handed the loss on eight innings of work, 10 hits, four runs (all earned), two walks and four strikeouts. Tom Babb (No. Yarmouth, Maine) closed out the ninth allowing one hit, no runs, two walks and three strikeouts.
After one scoreless inning of play, the Terriers opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second plating two runs on three hits. With one out, catcher Taylor Livingston (No. Andover, Mass.) singled to center field and Jake Chamblee (So. Berwick, Maine) walked to setup the inning. After Daniel Ierardi (Dunstable, Mass.) grounded out to second advancing both runners, Ben Goodall (Norway, Maine) smacked a two-run single up the middle for a 2-0 advantage.
Castleton responded in the top of the third plating four runs on four hits highlighted by Peter Wagner's (Brattleboro, Vt.) first home run of the season which led off the inning and sparked the Spartans rally.
Third baseman Shawn Kennedy (Schenectady, N.Y.) launched a double to left center then David Brandt (Contoocook, N.H.) singled to right field and stole second base to put runners at second and third. The Terriers defense kept the score at 2-1 momentarily as Goodall threw out Kennedy at home attempting to score on a groundball to second base.
With runners at the corners, Farrar was called for a balk pushing home Brandt from third, tying the score at 2-2, and advancing Zielinski to second. Jack Lancelin (Chatham, N.Y.) gave the Spartans the lead, 3-2, with a single to left center field scoring Zielinski. After Lancelin stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Matt Eisenhuth (So. Newfane, Vt.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field for a 4-2 advantage.
Thomas cut into the deficit at 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth on an infield RBI single from Josh Nickerson (Stockton Springs, Maine) plating Goodall but Terriers rally fell short as Aker shut the door for the remainder of the contest.
Brandt went 3-for-4 in the game out of the nine spot in the lineup while Lancelin was 2-for-4 with one run batted in and one run scored. Kennedy collected a 2-for-4 day at the plate rounding out Castleton's multi-hit efforts.
Richardson was 3-for-5 for Thomas while Goodall went 1-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI's to highlight the Terriers' offense.