CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton baseball returns to action this week with a North Atlantic Conference home-and-home series against Colby-Sawyer. The Spartans will travel to New London, N.H. to face off with the Chargers on Wednesday at 2 pm before hosting them the following day to close out the series.
The Spartans have won six of their last seven games and stand at 12-9 overall and 6-2 in the conference after sweeping Maine-Farmington in a four-game set. Castleton opened the series on Saturday with a 5-1 victory before claiming the nightcap 8-1. The squad followed that up with a pair of 6-2 wins to claim the season series against UMF for the second straight year.
So far this season, the Spartans have hit for a .270 average with 114 runs scored in 21 games. Seniors Dan Errico and Nick Swim have anchored the lineup, with respective averages of .385 and .361. Errico has collected ten extra-base hits with two home runs, 16 RBIs, 13 runs scored and a .507 on-base percentage. Swim, on the other hand, leads the team with 30 hits and 23 runs scored to go along with five doubles, one home run and 15 RBIs.
Designated hitter Zach Bahan has also been a top contributor, hitting .344 on the year with three doubles and 11 RBIs. In the past week alone, Bahan reached base nine times and posted a .600 average with four RBIs. Taylor Vile sports a .277 average with 19 runs scored and a team-leading eight stolen bases, while Jim Buckley has drove in 14 runs with a .264 average.
The offensive success has been carried onto the mound for Castleton, as the pitching staff boasts a 3.52 ERA with ten complete games. Sam Spencer has been the squad's ace so far, posting a 3-2 mark with four complete games, 31 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA. Charles Stapleford has been a standout in his debut season with three wins and a team-leading 1.57 ERA, while Steven Jurkiewicz (2-2) has a 3.72 ERA with just five walks and two complete games.
The Chargers head into the midweek series with an 8-8 overall record and 5-3 mark in the NAC after splitting a four-game set with Thomas this past weekend. Colby-Sawyer dropped the first game 6-2, but outscored the Terriers 9-3 in the next two contests to claim back-to-back victories. Thomas, however, closed out the series with a narrow 5-4 victory to claim the split.
Offensively, the Chargers have been one of the top club's in the conference, sporting a .299 average while scoring 5.44 runs per game. Leading the way has been Jeff Dunn. The senior third baseman is hitting .373 this year with seven RBIs and a .429 on-base percentage. Jackson Musco is batting .357 with 13 runs scored and 13 stolen bases, while Doug Avellino has driven in a team-leading 11 runs with five doubles and a .360 average. Other top contributors include Justin Devoid (.444) and Andrew Pratt (.414), who are each hitting above .400 so far.
On the hill, Colby-Sawyer's staff has posted a collective ERA of 4.88 with 58 strikeouts in 16 games. Connor Henry has made four starts for the club, collecting a 2-1 mark with a team-best 2.60 ERA in 17.1 innings of work. Chris Mitchell Jr. is 1-2 on the year with a 3.48 ERA and 14 strikeouts, while Andrew Carbone has notched two wins with a 4.00 ERA.
The Spartans have dominated this matchup as of late, winning seven straight contests dating back to the 2014 season. These two programs met five times last year, with Castleton claiming the season sweep. Conner Johnson tossed his second career no-hitter during the series, while the The Spartans outscored the opposition 41-7 to claim the sweep.