AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Castleton overcame a five-run deficit in its opener before taking down Colby 12-10 in eight innings and then went off for 15 runs in 15-4 win to earn a sweep over the Mules in the RussMat Tournament.
The Spartans belted out 13 hits in each contest while scoring 27 combined runs and recording 14 extra-base hits. Jim Buckley led the offense with seven RBI while going 4-for-8 with three doubles and a triple. Tyler Hoare added four hits, four runs and five RBI while Nick Swim went 7-for-9 with three runs and three doubles.
Sam Spencer took the win in the second game, going the full 7.0 innings while allowing four earned runs and striking out a pair of batters.
In game one, Soren Pelz-Walsh drew a one-out walk to open the game and Swim followed with high chopper to short, which he beat out. Following a strikeout, Errico drew a walk and Hoare singled over the second baseman's head to score a pair for the 2-0 advantage.
Starter Devin Hayes struggled in the bottom frame as each of the first four batters reached and cut the deficit to 1-0. Following a pop out, Hayes balked allowing a run to score and Tim Corey doubled down the right field line to give the Mules a 4-2 advantage. A groundout and flyout ended the frame.
Castleton got a run back in the top of the second as Nate Swahn belted a leadoff triple and scored but Colby countered with two more for a 6-3 advantage.
The Spartans closed the gap in the third as Buckley ripped a double down the right field line, scoring Hoare and Zach Bahan to make it 6-5. The Mules responded in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs to extend their lead to 8-5.
It was Buckley who provided the offense in the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, the sophomore drilled a ball drive down right field line, platting Pelz-Walsh, Swim and Bahan to tie the score 8-8.
Colby took back the lead in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch but Castleton added two in the fifth to capture the lead, 10-9. Pelz-Walsh reached on an error, scoring Taylor Vile and Nick Swim belted a double down the left field line to bring Pelz-Walsh around.
The Mules tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth on a single but neither team could end it in the seventh as relievers Greg Ladd & Zac Harrington shut the door.
In the top of the eight Swim singled, Bahan doubled and Errico walked to load the bases with no outs. After two quick outs, Swahn hit a high pop-up on the edge of the infield and the second baseman couldn't handle it as two runs scored once it bounced off his glove.
Closer TJ Fearon induced a double play and then got a strikeout looking to secure the Spartan win.
In game two playing as the visitors, Colby got on the board in the top of the first on a solo home run to left field by Thomas Forese.
Castleton countered in the bottom of the second inning as Errico ripped a leadoff double over the centerfielder. Two batters later Buckley cranked a double to centerfield to drive in Errico, evening the game 1-1.
The Spartans grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third as Swim's hit went right through the shortstop's legs, allowing Lord to score from second.
In the bottom of the fourth Errico cranked a solo homer over the field in left and one pitch later Hoare sent a ball over the fence in left center to push the lead to 4-1.
The Mules tied the game up with three rules in the top of the fifth but the Spartans came back with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Errico singled home a run and Hoare followed with a two-run double to right center. Hoare later scored on a wild pitch to extend the Castleton lead to 8-4
Seven more runs in the sixth put the game out of reach. Swim started the scoring with an RBI single and Bahan then launched a two-run homer. Buckley added a two-run double and Swahn went yard for the two-run shot to make it a 15-4 contest.
Harrington took the win in the opening game, throwing the seventh inning while allowing one hits and striking out a batter. Fearon earned the save and Scott Michaels added 2.1 innings of strong relief.
The Spartans return to action on Monday when they face Thomas in a conference doubleheader starting at 12 pm.