AUBURN, N.Y. – Devin Hayes and Michael LaBeau combined to allow just four hits, as Castleton's baseball team defeated Union by a final score of 3-1 in a NCAA Tournament Regional matchup on Thursday at Falcon Park.
The Spartans improve to 33-11 with the win and will play again tomorrow at 2:30 pm. With the loss, Union is eliminated from the tournament and concludes with a 26-14 mark.
Hayes recorded nine strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work, allowing just one run on three hits. The nine strikeouts were one shy of Hayes's career-high, and the junior carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before conceding a one-out base hit. LaBeau worked a scoreless ninth inning, striking out two batters and allowing just one hit.
Kent Curran had two of Union's four hits, while Joe Ganim drove in the squad's only run. Adam Ashenfarb went 7.1 innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with six strikeouts. Matt Yonta worked 0.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits while walking two batters.
Hayes got off to a hot start for Castleton, striking out the side in order in the top of the first inning to bring his team to the plate with a chance for an early lead. The Spartans delivered, as Taylor Vile drew a one-out walk and went first-to-third on a base hit by Nick Swim. A sacrifice fly by Errico drove home Vile to make it a 1-0 game after one inning of play.
The Dutchmen evened the contest in the second, as a leadoff walk turned into the tying run. Eric Egan stole second base after the walk, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly by Joe Ganim brought home Egan to make it a 1-1 game through two innings of play.
After trading zeros in the third inning, the Spartans retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Two singles and a fielder's choice loaded the bases for the Castleton offense with just one out. A strikeout made it two outs and kept the runners at bay, but Benham drew a hit-by-pitch to force in the go-ahead run.
Castleton added an insurance run in the bottom half of the eighth, when Caron lofted a fly ball to center field that scored Errico to make it a 3-1 game. LaBeau then came on and worked a scoreless ninth inning to seal the victory for the Spartans.