Baseball Opens Week with Doubleheader at Colby-Sawyer

Baseball Opens Week with Doubleheader at Colby-Sawyer

CASTLETON, Vt. – Coming off a four-game sweep of UMaine-Farmington over the weekend, the Castleton baseball team will stay within the conference to play the final two games at Colby-Sawyer and New England College on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, before hosting Union in a non-conference bout Thursday at Spartan Field.

The Spartans will complete the season series against Colby-Sawyer in a doubleheader Monday slated for 2 p.m., before traveling to NEC to make up a twinbill with the Pilgrims on Wednesday.

Castleton (15-5) used stellar pitching and timely hitting to improve to 6-2 in the North Atlantic Conference with a season sweep of UMF over the weekend. The Spartan pitching staff allowed just one earned run over 30.0 innings, while the offense outscored the Beavers 18-4 over four games. In the final game of the series, UMF took a 2-0 lead into the final 1.1 innings, but the Spartans roared back to score the final three runs of the game to capture the victory, 3-2, in extra innings.

The Spartans will look to avenge a pair of losses to the Chargers less than a week ago at Spartan Field. Davis Mikell and Steven Jurkiewicz both pitched complete games with just two earned runs combined, but the offense sputtered in 2-1 and 2-0 defeats.

The Spartan pitching staff ranks second in the nation with a 2.15 earned run average. Mikell leads the NAC with a 1.23 ERA in 22.0 innings pitched. The freshman 2-1 with 25 strikeouts in three starts, including two complete games. Michael LaBeau ranks second in the NAC with a 1.29 ERA after opening the series against UMF with an eight-inning, complete-game shutout to move to 2-2 on the season. Devin Hayes is 4-0 on the season with 33 strikeouts in 27.0 innings pitched, and ranks third in the conference with a 1.67 ERA.

Sophomore outfielder Deagan Poland has reached base in all but one game this season and leads the offense with a .372 batting average. He has stolen 17 bases and scored 23 runs primarily out of the leadoff spot this season. Mikell is batting .362 and leads the team with a .438 on-base percentage and a .652 slugging percentage. He has four home runs and 17 RBI to go with four doubles and two triples. Dylan Bailey is batting .344 with eight doubles and a home run to go with 14 RBI and eight runs scored.

Colby-Sawyer (12-8, 4-2 NAC) won two pitching duels against the Spartans behind strong starts from Michael Fazio and Chris Mitchell Jr. Fazio is 2-1 on the season and leads the rotation with a 2.45 ERA in 22.0 innings pitched, while Mitchell Jr. is 4-1 with a 4.23 ERA in 27.2 innings. Ryan Glendye earned his second save in game two and has a 3.91 ERA in six appearances for the Chargers. The Spartans held Justin Devoid hitless in five at-bats in the opening two games, but he leads the team in batting average (.400), on-base percentage (.438), and slugging percentage (.615). Tim Unczur and Connor Henry both enter the week batting .382 on the season.

NEC (12-13, 5-6 NAC) split a four-game series with Husson over the weekend, taking the first two games on Saturday before dropping both ends of a twinbill on Sunday. The Spartans will go for the season sweep against the Pilgrims on Wednesday, as they won the opening two games of the series on April 3. The Pilgrims are batting .270 as a team. Evan Delaney leads the offense in batting average (.405), on-base percentage (.556), and slugging (.743). He has six doubles, five triples, and three home runs to go with a team-leading 18 RBI. Luis Atiles is second on the team with a .353 batting average in 25 starts this season. Stanley Vargas lost a pitching duel against Hayes in the first meeting this season, allowing one earned run over 6.0 innings with nine strikeouts in the loss. He leads the team with nine appearances on the season and is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA. Vincent Backert has pitched his way to a 3-1 record on the mound with 51 strikeouts and a 2.11 ERA in 42.2 innings.

Union (11-10, 7-5 Liberty League) saw its seven-game winning streak snapped against Vassar over the weekend, dropping all four games of the conference series. The Dutchmen are scheduled to play Williams on Wednesday before traveling to Castleton on Thursday. Jake Vesling leads the team with a .423 batting average and 14 RBI in 20 games played. Kent Curran has eight doubles, four triples, and two home runs to go with his team-leading .676 slugging percentage. Vesling also leads the pitching staff with three wins on the season, recording 18 strikeouts and a 4.25 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched. Ryan Kuchar is 1-3 on the mound with a 3.12 ERA, while leading the team with 19 strikeouts.