CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton faces one of its toughest tests of the season this Sunday when it travels to Amherst, Massachusetts to square off with 19th-ranked Amherst College at 1 pm in non-conference play at Memorial Stadium.
The Spartans head into Sunday's contest with a 16-9 (10-2 NAC) overall record after notching back-to-back four-game sweeps over Maine-Farmington and Colby-Sawyer. Castleton was impressive on Thursday against the Chargers, manufacturing 30 runs from 26 hits to capture a pair of victories – 15-2, 15-3.
So far this season, the Spartans have hit at a .287 clip with an average of 6.52 runs per game. Leading the way has been senior Nick Swim, who is currently on a 15-game hitting streak. The senior is hitting a team-high .414 on the year with 41 hits, 11 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs. In the last four games, Swim has gone 11-for-15 with 11 RBIs and eight runs scored.
Fellow senior Dan Errico has also been a top contributor, batting .369 so far with seven doubles, two home runs, 20 RBIs and 15 runs scored. He's posted a team-leading .500 on-base percentage with 15 walks, 24 hits and just six strikeouts this season. Jim Buckley has driven in 18 runs and hit at a .305 spot, while Zach Bahan has hit safely in 13 straight games with a .329 average.
Castleton's success at the plate has been replicated on the mound, as the pitching staff has posted a collective ERA of 3.44. Sam Spencer has anchored the squad with a 3-2 mark and four complete games. In five starts, the senior has tallied a 2.25 ERA with 31 strikeouts and just six walks allowed. Steven Jurkiewicz is 2-2 on the year with a 3.72 ERA, while Michael LaBeau (2-0) has produced 18 strikeouts in seven appearances.
The Purple and White stand at 16-4 overall following back-to-back wins over Worcester St. and Eastern Conn. St. Amherst took down the Lancers on Wednesday 3-0 before claiming a 3-1 victory the following day against the Warriors.
This season, the Purple and White have been one of the top offensive teams in the nation, hitting .326 as a team while scoring 7.35 runs per game. Eight different players sport batting averages over .300, led by Ariel Kenney's .390 spot. The sophomore has started all 20 games with 32 hits, 10 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs. Harry Roberson is batting .370 and driven in a team-high 21 runs, while Anthony Spina has collected three home runs, 11 RBIs and 22 runs scored with a .359 average.
On the mound, Jackson Volle has been near untouchable for Amherst with a perfect 5-0 mark. The junior right-hander has collected a 1.35 ERA in 40 innings of work with 34 strikeouts, nine walks and just six earned runs. Riley Streit is 2-1 with two complete games and a 3.18 ERA, while Wilson Taylor (2-0) has posted a 2.08 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 21.2 innings of work.
The Purple and White have dominated this matchup as of late, with six straight wins dating back to the 2010 season. In last year's matchup, Castleton trailed 4-3 with a runner on second and one out, but Amherst got back-to-back out to end the game and secure the one-run victory.