CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton's baseball team had five players receive North Atlantic Conference All-Conference First Team honors this afternoon, headlined by Nick Swim, Sam Spencer and Charles Stapleford, who each received a major award.
Swim has had an impressive senior season with the Spartans en route to winning the NAC Player of the Year award. In conference games, the shortstop ranks in the top-two in nine statistical categories and leads the conference in seven categories. He tops the league with a .426 batting average, 63 hits, 49 runs scored, 15 doubles, 44 RBI, 91 total bases, and a .615 slugging percentage. Impressively, his scored runs rank him 16th in the nation, while his hits, batting average, and RBI rank him 26th, 42nd, and 44th in all of Division III. The senior is also tied for the NAC lead in homeruns with three and is currently second with a .482 on-base percentage. Swim has struck out just 10 times in 171 at bats and hit safely in 34 out of 39 games this season, including 19 multi-hit games. He has also swiped 12 bases, drew 15 walks and belted two triples. On defense, the shortstop has posted a .952 fielding percentage, while making only nine errors in 189 total chances. He is second in the league with 112 assists and third with 21 turned double plays.
Spencer has been solid for the Castleton defense once again, claiming his second-consecutive NAC Pitcher of the Year honor. He has posted a 6-2 overall record with six complete games in 56 innings of work. His complete games currently rank him first in the NAC and 12th in all of Division III. The senior has tallied a 2.89 ERA in 56 innings, while striking out a league-best 46 batters and scattering 52 hits. In conference play, he posted a 3-0 mark, with a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings, while striking out 15 batters and only allowing three to reach base on four balls.
Stapleford has had a standout freshman season for the Spartans, making six starts and compiling a 6-1 record to earn the NAC Rookie of the Year award. The rookie tops the league with the lowest ERA at 1.93 and is second in strikeouts with 38. The right hander has made five starts in conference play with three complete games, one shutout and a 5-0 record to top the league. He pitched 33 innings of NAC action, struck out 27 batters, and posted a conference second-best ERA of 1.91. Stapleford's overall ERA ranks him 52nd in the nation, while his 5.36 hits per nine innings notably rank him 15th.
Dan Errico received NAC All-Conference First Team honors for the second straight season. The senior outfielder posted an above-.320 average for the third straight year, hitting .350 overall with 11 extra-base hits, two home runs, 38 RBIs and 27 runs scored. Bahan, meanwhile, received a spot on the team for the first time in his career after delivering a career year in 2016. The junior recorded 11 doubles to go along with three home runs, 32 RBIs, 27 runs scored and a .341 average.
Jim Buckley, meanwhile, received a spot on the NAC All-Sportsmanship Team after hitting .354 on the season. Lyndon's Reece Tanguay was named the NAC Senior School Athlete of the Year, while Colby-Sawyer's Jim Broughton received the Coach of the Year Award after helping the Chargers improve their win total by eight this season. To view the complete conference release, click here.
The Spartans secured the top seed in the NAC Tournament, which will take place on May 6-8 at Castleton University, after finishing the regular season with a 21-3 mark in conference play. Castleton will open tournament play on Friday at 9:30 am when it will face fourth-seeded Thomas at Spartan Field. No. 2 Husson will take on No. 3 Maine-Farmington in the second game of the day.