Sherman, Texas - The Spartans opened their season with 11 hits on their way to a 9-7 win over Austin College in Sherman, Texas on Sunday afternoon. Dan Errico led the squad with a 4-for-5 performance and T.J. Fearon earned the win in his collegiate debut on the mound.
The Spartans allowed nine walks and committed three errors as they shook off the rust in their first game of the season. Errico and Tyler Hoare each drove in a pair of runs, and Nate Swahn knocked one out of the park as the Spartan offense seemed to be running on all cylinders
In the top of the first, Castleton started their season right, batting around for a five-run inning. Tyler Lord led off on a single and came around to score on an errant throw by the Austin College shortstop. After a Joe Borowski walk, Errico singled through the right side to bring home Macyn Clifford from second base. Three batters later Tyler Hoare ripped a two-run double to make it 4-0, and scored on an error the next play.
In the bottom of the inning, Adam Greenlese allowed a pair of walks, but went unscathed through the inning without allowing a hit or a run. He finished with two innings pitched, allowing just one earned run on one hit, and struck out three.
Castleton added a run in the second to take a 6-0 lead, but the 'Roos made it a game with two runs in the third and another in the fourth. With a 6-3 lead, Castleton added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Matt McNamee ripped an RBI-triple and Allen White brought him home with a groundout to the right side, making it 8-3.
In the bottom of the fifth frame, the 'Roos scored another two runs, making it 8-5. The Spartans committed a pair of errors. Alan Parrent knocked an RBI-single, the team's only hit of the inning.
Sam Spencer finished his three-inning debut by throwing a scoreless sixth. The transfer from Franklin Pierce all three unearned runs during his outing, walking two and striking out one.
In the bottom of the 7th, Austin added a pair of runs, cutting the Spartans' lead to 8-7. Daniel Keene lit a two-run triple to deep center bringing home Patrick Renz and Josh Coughennower.
In the top of the eighth, Swahn blasted his solo shot, adding to the Spartan lead and putting the team ahead 9-7. Conner Johnson lined up the Spartans' only 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth, ending the inning with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the ninth, Johnson ran into more problems than the previous inning. The sophomore recorded a pair of outs, but put the potential tying run on base with a walk. Castleton skipper Ted Shipley decided to bring in veteran Matt Ravey to shut down the threat. With the winning run at the plate, Ravey forced Will Schommer to pop out to shortstop, ending the game.
T.J. Fearon earned the win after working the Spartans out of a third-inning jam while Ravey earned the save for the Spartans. Todd Takabuki took the loss for Austin College after allowing five runs (one earned) in the first inning.
The Spartans improve to 1-0 and will travel to LeTourneau for a two-game set on Monday and Tuesday, before finishing their Texas road trip with a game at Louisiana College on Wednesday.