CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton's baseball team closes out the regular season this weekend with a North Atlantic Conference home-and-home series against the Lyndon Hornets. The Spartans will host Lyndon this afternoon at 2 pm as part of Military Appreciation Day before traveling to Lyndonville, Vt. on Saturday to close out the series.
Castleton improved to 26-9 (18-2 NAC) overall and extended its winning streak to 18 games yesterday with a doubleheader sweep over the New England College Pilgrims at Spartan Field. Luke Salerno tossed seven innings of one-run ball to lead the Spartans to a 4-1 victory in game one before the squad closed out the series with an emphatic 19-3 victory in the finale.
So far this season, Nick Swim has anchored a Spartan lineup that's hitting a .308 on the year. Swim is currently on a 25-game hitting streak and leads the conference in batting average (.437), hits (59) and RBIs (41) to go along with 14 doubles, three home runs, 41 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. Jim Buckley is hitting .339 on the year with 27 RBIs and 22 runs scored, while Dan Errico has driven in 34 runs and notched 13 extra-base hits with a .337 average. Other top contributors include, Zach Bahan (.325), Dillon Benham (.323), Taylor Vile (.310) and Pat Mumford (.303), who are each hitting above .300 on the year.
Sam Spencer and Steven Jurkiewicz have anchored the top pitching staff in the conference. Spencer is 5-2 on the year with a 3.12 ERA, 40 strikeouts and five complete games. Jurkiewicz, meanwhile, holds a 4-2 mark with one save, three complete games and a 3.27 ERA in 44 innings of work. Devin Hayes (3-2) has been just as impressive this year, posting a 3.66 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 39.1 innings of work.
The Hornets head into this weekend's four-game set with a 9-24 overall record and 5-15 mark in the NAC following a 6-2 victory over Norwich on Thursday. Lyndon turned in one of its best performances of the season, collecting seven hits and 11 stolen bases en route to the victory.
This season, the Hornets have struggled at the plate, posting a team average of .217 with 107 runs scored in 33 games. Ryan Cordeiro and Ben Rollins have been the squad's top performers. Cordeiro has a team-leading .333 average with 29 hits, five doubles and 13 stolen bases in 87 at-bats. Rollins is hitting .308 on the year, while Reece Tanguay and Andre Eason Jr. have combined to steal 26 bases and score 36 runs.
The struggles have carried over onto the field, where Lyndon sports a collective 6.67 ERA. Jeff Williams is 3-3 on the year with a 4.14 ERA and two complete games in 37 innings of work. Rollins sports a 2-2 mark with a 4.13 ERA, while Mike Raimondi has notched a team-best 2.89 ERA in 14 appearances this season.
The Spartans have dominated this matchup as of late, with the last loss coming in the 2008 season. In last year's season series, Castleton outscored the Hornets 29-6 in the four-game set en route to the season sweep.