New London, N.H. - Castleton split a pair of North Atlantic Conference games with Colby-Sawyer on Friday evening in New London, beating the Chargers 11-4 in game one, but falling victim to an extra-inning walkoff single in game two, losing 8-7.
Tyler Lord went 5-for-7 on the day with four runs scored, two RBI, and three stolen bases. Joe Borowski went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs, while Macyn Clifford slapped a pair of doubles and drove in two runs.
The Spartans used a nine-run outburst in the fourth inning to cruise to an 11-4 victory in game one. Castleton shelled reigning NAC Pitcher of the Year Kevin Keith, ripping all 11 runs off of the starter on nine hits.
Castleton got on the board in the top of the first, taking an early 1-0 advantage. Tyler Lord walked, stole second, and came home on a single by Joe Borowski, giving the visitors an early advantage. The Spartans added to their lead in the third, with Lord's crafty baserunning producing another run. The speedster got on base with a single, stole second base again, moved to third on a fielder's choice, and stole home to put the Spartans ahead 2-0.
Starting pitcher Steven Jurkiewicz cruised through the Colby-Sawyer lineup through the first three innings, and received a whole lot of run support in the top of the fourth. The Spartans strung together eight hits, including a three-run double from Joe Borowski and a two-run double by Macyn Clifford to plate nine runs and take an 11-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Colby-Sawyer finally found a chink in the Castleton armor. The Chargers loaded the bases with no outs on an error and two singles, but managed to only score one run on a sacrifice fly as Jurkiewicz recovered to limit the damage.
The Chargers tried to mount a rally in the bottom of the sixth, stringing together three hits and capitalizing on a Spartan error, but Jurkiewicz limited the damage to three runs by forcing Jake Szulak into a crucial 5-4-3 double play. The Spartans entered the seventh inning leading 11-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ethan Hanson came in from the bullpen for the Spartans, mowing down the Chargers to close out the game. Jurkiewicz earned the win going six innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits, while recording four strikeouts. Keith took the loss for Colby-Sawyer.
In game two, the Spartans dug themselves into a hole as the Chargers got to Sam Spencer for five runs in the first two innings. The Chargers strung together three hits in the bottom of the first to get on the board with a run. Andy Lapple knocked an RBI double to right-center to put the Chargers ahead.
In the second, Colby-Sawyer tacked on four more runs. Kyle Greenwood, Brett Emmertz, and Vinny Monahan each ripped RBI singles and Jon Wylie drew a bases loaded walk to put the Chargers up 5-0 after the second.
In the top of the third, the Castleton bats began to wake up. Tyler Lord ripped an RBI double to bring home Soren Pelz-Walsh, making it 5-1. The next inning, Castleton cashed in three more runs. Borowski led off the inning with a single and came around to score two batters later on a Colby-Sawyer error. Soren Pelz-Walsh drove in Dan Errico with a sacrifice fly, and Josh Jennato ripped an RBI single to right to cut the Chargers' lead to 5-4.
In the top of the fifth, Castleton tied the game, effectively getting Spencer off the hook with the no-decision. Tyler Lord led off with his second double of the game, and Allen White brought him home with a single to right.
Matt Ravey was dealing for the Spartans. The senior reliever came in in the third and kept the Spartans in the game by preventing the Chargers from extending their lead. In the top of the sixth, Castleton finally took the lead with an RBI double off the bat of Macyn Clifford that brought home Pelz-Walsh and gave the Spartans a 6-5 lead.
The Spartans tacked on another run in the top of the seventh. Allen White took one for the team to get on first, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Borowski then brought White home on sacrifice fly that extended the Spartan lead to 7-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ravey allowed three consecutive singles to load the bases before being relieved by Castleton closer T.J. Fearon. Fearon forced a groundout to second base, but as the Spartans got the out at second base on the fielder's choice, two runs came around to score, tying the game at 7-7. With one out and one on, Fearon forced the next Charger he faced into a 5-4-3 double play, sending the game into extras.
In the eighth, Colby-Sawyer pitcher Michael Fazio retired three Spartans in order setting the table for his team to produce the winning run. Alex Fredette led off with a single for the Chargers and took second on a wild pitch. Fearon forced a pair of groundouts, keeping Fredette at second on both plays. With two out and the winning run on second base, Brett Emmertz delivered the game-winning hit, slapping a single to right field that brought home Fredette and gave the Chargers an 8-7 win.
Fazio earned the win for the Chargers, going 1.2 innings without allowing a baserunner and recording a strikeout. Fearon took the loss for the Spartans, allowing an earned run on two hits in 1.2 innings pitched.
With the split, Castleton moves to 12-6 on the year, with a 9-2 mark in the NAC. Colby-Sawyer improves to 4-12 on the year and 1-3 in the NAC. Castleton will return to action on Saturday, April 12 when they begin a four-game set with Thomas.