BANGOR, Maine – The Castleton baseball team took two games from UMaine-Farmington on Saturday afternoon, completing the season sweep with an 11-1 victory in the opening game and a comeback, 3-2 victory in nine innings in the night cap.
With the wins, Castleton improved to 15-5 on the season and 6-2 in the North Atlantic Conference. UMaine-Farmington, meanwhile, fell to 2-13 overall and 2-6 in the NAC.
Castleton 11, UMaine-Farmington 1
Matt Jackson paced the offense with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, driving in two and scoring another in the win. Dillon Benham went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Jonathan Lindau finished 1-for-5 with three RBI.
Devin Hayes was strong on the mound for Castleton, allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts in the complete game victory.
Castleton took advantage of a defensive miscue to jump out to an early lead in the top of the first. Deagan Poland reached first on an error by the shortstop, allowing him to take second base. After beating the throw to third on a fielder's choice by Benham, Lindau followed with a ground ball to short, deep enough to score Poland from third and give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
The Spartans put up a crooked number in the top of the fifth, scoring six runs on six hits while sending nine batters to the plate. Pat Mumford led the inning off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. After Poland reached first on an error and Benham walked to load the bases, Lindau sent a line drive up the middle to score two. Davis Mikell drove in two more with a triple, and scored one batter later on a single from Bahan. Dylan Bailey capped off the inning with an RBI single as the Spartans extended their lead to 7-1.
Castleton was not done yet, adding three more runs in the sixth. Poland led off with a double and scored on an RBI-single by Benham, before Jackson drove in two more later in the inning to extend the Spartan lead to 10-1. After Tucker McClure knocked an RBI single in the top of the seventh, Hayes set the Beavers down in order in the home half and capped off the outing with a strikeout.
Castleton 3, UMaine-Farmington 2
After being held off the board for 5.2 innings in the nightcap, the Spartan offense came to life with three runs over the next three innings.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, Mikell put the Spartans on the board with a solo home run – his fourth of the season – to cut the deficit in half. Down to its final at-bats in the seventh, Castleton registered four hits to tie the game. Jackson started the rally with a leadoff single to center field. After Bailey doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs, Bahan lifted an RBI single to score Jackson and draw the score even. The Spartans were poised for more, but a strikeout and a flyout ended the top half of the seventh with the game tied 2-2.
Aaron Smith pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning to give the Spartans a chance offensively. They did just that in the top of the ninth, scoring the go-ahead run with Jackson again leading the way. The sophomore led the inning off with a triple. Bailey followed with a groundball to second, where the throw home was too late as Jackson crossed the plate to give the Spartans their first lead of the game, 3-2.
Scott Michaels set the Beavers down in order in the bottom of the ninth to record his fifth save of the season for the Spartans.
UMaine-Farmington jumped out to an early lead in the home half of the first. Derek Bowen led the game off with a single up the middle, and after advancing to second on a groundout, he reached third on a wild pitch. Jordan Croteau put a ball in play that resulted in an error by Stapleford, allowing the runner to score and give the Beavers a 1-0 lead. After the Beavers extended their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Spartans fought back to score the final three runs of the game.
Smith earned the win on the mound, tossing two scoreless innings of relief with a strikeout. Charles Stapleford started on the mound for Castleton, but did not factor in the decision. He allowed two runs (no earned) with six strikeouts over 6.0 innings.