Baseball to Host Norwich, Colby-Sawyer in Mid-Week Matchups

Baseball to Host Norwich, Colby-Sawyer in Mid-Week Matchups

CASTLETON, Vt. – After battling field conditions for nearly a month and playing its first 13 games on the road, the Castleton baseball team is set for its long-awaited home opener with a pair of mid-week matchups at Spartan Field. The Spartans will host in-state foe Norwich at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, before taking on Colby-Sawyer in a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Castleton (10-3, 2-0 NAC) comes into the week riding high on a seven-game winning streak after scoring 54 runs during a 6-0 spring break trip. The Spartans began the trip with a doubleheader sweep of New England College to move to 2-0 in conference play. Devin Hayes tossed a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 win in the opening game, before the bats broke out in a 10-1 victory behind Deagan Poland's 4-for-4 effort in the nightcap.

Poland leads the Spartan offense in hits (23), runs (16), batting average (.451), and on-base percentage (.509), and ranks nationally with 15 bases on the season. Freshman Davis Mikell is tied for first in the NAC with two home runs and 14 RBI on his way to a team-leading .609 slugging percentage. Dylan Bailey is coming off a 4-for-5 performance at Clark and has three doubles and 11 RBI to go with his .333 batting average. Matt Jackson and Dillon Benham are both hitting .304 with 14 hits in 46 at-bats. Jonathan Lindau has been strong on both sides this season, batting .294 and throwing out four of six runners behind the plate. 

The nationally ranked Spartan pitching staff has an ERA of 2.97 through the team's first 13 games. Mikell leads the way with a 1.20 ERA in two starts, including a complete-game victory over previously ranked No. 2 SUNY Cortland. He is 2-0 with 15 strikeouts in 15.0 innings of work, while allowing just two earned runs. Hayes and Michael LaBeau both have an ERA of 1.80 with four earned runs in 20.0 innings. Hayes is leading the squad with 26 strikeouts and three wins.

Norwich comes into the contest 6-14 overall after splitting with Albertus Magnus on Sunday. The Cadets are just 2-8 on the road this season.

The Cadets are batting .262 as a team, but have three players well above the .300 mark. Eddie Gates leads the team in batting average (.375), on-base percentage (.474), and slugging (.688). He has five doubles along with a triple and a home run to go with his team-leading 15 RBI. Matt Sirois is batting .360 with eight runs scored, while Kevin Lynch has a .356 clip in a team-high 59 at-bats.

Norwich has struggled from the mound this season, posting a team ERA of 6.88. Billy Whaley is 1-3 on the season, but leads the starting rotation with 31 strikeouts in 24.1 innings pitched. Andrew Fisher has been strong out of the bullpen for the Cadets, yet to allow an earned run with eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched.

Colby-Sawyer (8-8, 2-2 NAC) is coming off an exciting four-game split with Husson over the weekend.

The Chargers, who were picked third in the NAC Preseason Poll, are batting .300 as a team and averaging just over five runs scored per game. Justin Devoid leads the offense in batting average (.431), on-base percentage (.474), and slugging percentage (.706). The senior first baseman has six doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, and 10 runs scored.

The Chargers' pitching staff has an ERA of 4.50. Chris Mitchell Jr. is 3-1 with a 5.23 ERA in four starts on the mound this season. Andrew Clay has held batters to a .217 average with three strikeouts in 5.2 innings out of the bullpen.

Castleton swept the season series against Colby-Sawyer a season ago, outscoring the Chargers 49-12 in the four-game set.