LYNDON CENTER, Vt. – The Castleton baseball team took the first two games of a North Atlantic Conference four-game series with Lyndon on Tuesday afternoon at Skip Pound Field. The Spartans won the opening game, 2-0, before earning a 7-2 victory in the nightcap.
With the wins, Castleton moved to 25-6 on the season and 16-2 in NAC play. Lyndon fell to 16-14 overall and 9-9 in the NAC with the losses.
Castleton 2, Lyndon 0
Devin Hayes mowed Lyndon down with five strikeouts over 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits in the complete-game victory to move to 4-1 on the season. Zach Bahan provided all the run support in the opener, delivering his fourth and fifth home runs of the year in the win.
Bahan jumped on one of the first pitches he saw in the game, as he parked a solo home run in the top of the first to give the Spartans the only lead they needed. His insurance blast, leading off the fifth inning, was jacked over the wall in left field to double the Spartan lead, 2-0.
After allowing two singles in the bottom of the second, Hayes fired four consecutive 1-2-3 innings after Jonathan Lindau threw out his ninth runner of the year to end the sixth inning. Lyndon strung two hits and a walk together in the bottom of the seventh to put the winning run on base with one out, but Hayes fought back with a pivotal strikeout and forced a game-ending groundout to earn the 2-0 shutout victory.
Bahan and Matt Jackson led the Spartan offense with two hits apiece.
Castleton 7, Lyndon 2
Castleton plated five runs in the top of the second to open up an early 5-1 lead in the nightcap. Josh Rylant led off the inning with a double to right center, and he came around to score one batter later on a throwing error by the shortstop. Henrik Barbin delivered an RBI single up the middle, scoring Jackson, who earlier reached on a fielder's choice. After Nick Patierne worked a walk, Deagan Poland advanced both runners into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Andrew Graciano reached first and advanced to second on a fielding error by the third baseman, allowing both runners to score. Bahan followed with an RBI single to left field to pad the Spartan lead.
Lyndon loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but Davis Mikell limited the damage by working two strikeouts around an error at shortstop that allowed one run to score.
The Spartans tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh. Bahan and Mikell worked walks to start the inning, and both runners came to score on back-to-back RBI singles to right field by Dylan Bailey and Barbin. Aaron Smith struck out two in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief to preserve the 7-2 victory for the Spartans.
Barbin led the Spartans offensively, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Mikell earned his fourth win of the season on the mound after allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts over 5.0 innings pitched.
The two teams will complete the season series on Thursday, as Castleton hosts Lyndon in a doubleheader at Spartan Field starting at 2 p.m.