Castleton Sweeps Husson for 16th Straight Win

Castleton Sweeps Husson for 16th Straight Win

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Spartans needed 12 innings to earn a 3-2 victory in the first game of the day and then shutout Husson 2-0 in the final game of the doubleheader to earn a sweep and stretch their win streak to a program-record 16 games on Sunday. 

The Spartans picked up a marathon win in game one, coming back from a late 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 in extra innings. Dillon Benham drove in both the game-tying and game-winning runs, while Nick Swim tallied a pair of doubles. Devin Hayes got the start and earned a no-decision, working seven innings and allowing just one earned run on three hits and seven strikeouts. Aaron Smith pitched two scoreless relief innings, while Michael LaBeau went three scoreless innings for his third win of the year. 

Game two was a pitcher's duel, won by junior Steven Jurkiewicz, who scattered four hits over 7.0 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Swim extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a pair of singles, while Benham and Jim Buckley each had two hits. 

Castleton improves to 24-9 overall with the sweep and 16-2 in the NAC, including a 10-0 mark at home. Husson, meanwhile, drops to 10-8 in conference play and 15-18 overall.

The Spartans picked up a marathon win in game one, coming back from a late 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 in extra innings. Dillon Benham drove in both the game-tying and game-winning runs, while Nick Swim tallied a pair of doubles. Devin Hayes got the start and earned a no-decision, working seven innings and allowing just one earned run on three hits and seven strikeouts. Aaron Smith pitched two scoreless relief innings, while Michael LaBeau went three scoreless innings for his third win of the year. 

Game One

The Spartans jumped out to the early lead, as Deagan Poland singled through the right side to lead off for Castleton and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor Vile. Swim then lined a double down the left field line to score Poland and give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived, as Husson answered back with a run of its own in the top of the second. Zach Sugar reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a passed ball with two outs. Alex Chapman sent a double of his own into the left field corner to score Sugar and knot the game up at 1-1.

Neither offense could crack the score column in the middle innings, as the two sides remained scoreless until the seventh. Christian Corneil drew a one-out walk for the Eagles and then stole second base with two outs after Chapman was called out on batter's interference. Cam Archer then ripped a single into right field, scoring Corneil and giving Husson its first lead of the game at 2-1.

With the bottom of the order due up in the home half of the seventh inning, Mitch Caron crushed a double off the left-field fence to give his team a leadoff base runner in scoring position. A well-placed bunt by Nick Patierne gave the Spartans runners at first and second with still nobody out for Benham. On the first pitch he saw in the at bat, Benham turned on a double over the right fielder's head to tie the game at 2-2. A pair of groundouts with the infield in brought Swim to the plate with two outs and the winning run at third. The ball got to the backstop as Husson was trying to intentionally walk Swim and Patierne attempted to score, but he was cut down at the plate, sending the game to extra innings.

Neither team had more than one runner reach base in extra innings prior to the bottom of the 12th for Castleton as the two teams' bullpens were lights out through four-plus innings of work. Jim Buckley lined a base hit into center field to kick off the 12th inning for Castleton, before Caron walked. Patierne followed Caron with a walk of his own, loading the bases for Benham. Benham then lifted a high fly ball to center field, scoring Buckley to give Castleton its 15th consecutive win, this time in walk-off fashion.

Ben Walls got the start for the Eagles, working eight innings and allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out five. Ben Holmes took the loss after throwing 3.1 innings and surrendering the game-winning run while allowing one hit and two walks. Julien Boone was 2-for-4 with a hit by pitch in the game to lead the Husson offense. 

Game Two

Castleton used a two-out rally to get on the board in the bottom of the first. Swim singled and Dan Errico followed with a single of his own. Bahan then drew a walk to load the bases for Buckley. He ripped a single into right to score Swim, but Errico was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. 

The Spartans added to their lead in the bottom of the third. Vile doubled to left-center and Swim followed with a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Errico hit into a double play but Vile was able to score on the play for the 2-0 advantage before a groundout ended the inning 

Husson's best chance to score came in the top of the sixth, as two batters reached with one out. Jurkiewicz settled down and induced a fly out to the centerfield and then to Buckley at first to get out of trouble. 

Castleton was poised to add more runs in the bottom of the frame, with runners on first and second with just one out. However, a double play ended the threat.

Jurkiewicz then sent Husson down in order in the top of the seventh for the complete-game victory, his fourth win of the year. Robert Graff took the loss but was solid overall, as he allowed nine hits and two earned runs over 6.0 innings.

The Spartans return to action on Wednesday when they host New England College in a doubleheader starting at 2 pm.