Spartans Use Long Ball to Power Past Norwich, 15-0

Spartans Use Long Ball to Power Past Norwich, 15-0

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton baseball team continued its offensive onslaught Tuesday afternoon, powering six home runs behind 6.0 strong innings from Charles Stapleford on the mound as the Spartans rolled to a 15-0 victory over Norwich in a non-conference matchup at Spartan Field.

Zach Bahan and Dillon Benham each smashed two home runs, while Jonathan Lindau and Davis Mikell blasted round-trippers for the second straight game. Dylan Bailey finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and Deagan Poland continued to see the ball well with two hits and two runs scored.

After working out of an early jam, Stapleford settled in to pitch 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with five strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season.

Castleton (11-3) broke a scoreless tie in the home half of the second and never looked back with runs in every inning the rest of the way. Bahan started the second inning with a hit-by-pitch, before Matt Jackson reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. After Mitchell Caron loaded the bases with a single to left field, Bailey opened the scoring with a two-RBI double to left center. Caron crossed the plate one batter later when Pat Mumford grounded out to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.

Norwich (6-15) came away with its best opportunity in the top of the second, loading the bases on a walk, single, and a hit-by-pitch. Stapleford took care of business from there, however, striking out Dustin Spatz looking to end the frame unscathed.

The Spartans began the long ball surge in the bottom of the third, crushing back-to-back-to-back home runs. Lindau lifted his first home run of the day on a line drive over the wall in left center, scoring Benham, who walked to start the inning. Mikell parked his third home run of the season well beyond the wall in right field, before Bahan's blast to left gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead.

Bahan capped off a three-run fourth inning with his second home run of the day, sneaking one just inside the foul pole down the left field line to push the Spartans lead to double digits at 10-0. Benham blasted a pair of no-doubters in his next two at-bats with two-run and three-run bombs in the fifth and six innings, respectively, as the Spartans' lead extended to 15-0.

Aaron Smith set the Cadets down in order in the seventh inning, inducing a game-ending double play to preserve the shutout. The game was called after 6.5 innings due to rain.

Six Spartans recorded at least two hits in the contest, as the Spartans scored double-digit runs for the fourth time in six games to push their winning streak to eight.

Castleton is back in action Wednesday to host Colby-Sawyer in a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.