CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton hosts the Husson Eagles this weekend for a pivotal four-game set in North Atlantic Conference play at Spartan Field. The opening doubleheader will take place on Saturday at 11 am before finishing the season series with a pair of games on Sunday at noon.
The Spartans are currently on a 12-game winning streak and head into the weekend series with a 20-9 overall record and 12-2 spot in the NAC following a doubleheader sweep over NEC on Wednesday. Castleton outscored the Pilgrims 25-8 in the two-game set, taking game one 15-4 followed by a 10-4 victory in the finale.
So far this season, Nick Swim has anchored a Spartan lineup that's hitting .295 and averaging 7.17 runs per game. The senior shortstop is currently on a 19-game hitting streak and holds a conference-leading .430 average with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 37 RBIs and 38 runs scored. In the last eight games alone, he's gone 19-for-31 with six doubles, two home runs, 22 RBIs and 15 runs scored. Junior Zach Bahan has hit at a .330 clip this season with five doubles, 19 RBIs and 18 runs scored, while Jim Buckley is hitting .327 with six extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. Other top performerns include Dan Errico (.320), Pat Mumford (.313) and Taylor Vile (.300), who are each hitting .300 or above this season.
The team's success at the plate has been replicated on the mound, where the club's pitching staff boasts a 3.55 ERA with 116 runs allowed in 223 innings pitched. Sam Spencer has been the squad's ace, posting a 4-2 mark with four complete games and a 3.00 ERA. Steven Jurkiewicz (3-2) holds a 3.89 ERA and one save in 37 innings pitched, while Charles Stapleford (4-2) sports a team-leading 2.17 ERA with 28 strikeouts and two complete games.
Husson heads into the weekend series with a 15-14 record and 10-4 spot in the conference after dropping its third straight contest with an 8-2 defeat at Bowdoin. The Polar Bears jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning before tacking on four more in the fourth and fifth. The Eagles got on the board with a pair of runs late in the game, but it was too little too late, as Bowdoin secured the six-run victory.
Offensively, Husson holds a .277 average on the year and are scoring 4.79 runs per game. J.T. Whitten and Ryan Rebar have led the Eagles' lineup, posting respective averages of .394 and .349. Whitten has collected seven doubles and 17 RBIs and scored 19 runs, while Rebar has totaled 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored. Zach Sugar is hitting .326 and driven in 16 runs, whereas Julien Boone holds a .282 average and .432 slugging percentage.
Husson's pitching staff has been a bright spot for the squad, posting a team ERA of 4.35 this season. The trio of Brandon Reilly, Ben Walls and Dan Whitney has spearheaded the staff. Reilly is 3-2 on the year with a 3.74 ERA and three complete games. Ben Walls leads the team in wins (5) with a 2.48 ERA, while Whitney (3-1) has collected a 2.73 ERA and allowed zero walks in 29.2 innings of work.
In last season's four-game, the Spartans captured three of the four games to take the season series. In the opener, Jurkiewicz tossed a complete game of one-run baseball to lead Castleton to a 6-1 victory, while Spencer held off a last-inning rally in the second game to secure a 4-3, doubleheader sweep. Husson delivered a dominant performance in game three (12-0) before the Spartans claimed the season series with a 3-0 victory in the finale.