HAMPTON, Va. -- Mitchell Caron's second home run of the season put Castleton ahead early on, but the Spartans were forced to rally late to earn the 4-2 victory against the Apprentice School at War Memorial Stadium on Thursday evening.
Castleton runs its winning streak to four games as it improves to 5-4, raising its winning percentage above .500 for the first time since the first game of the season. Apprentice falls to 9-5 overall with the loss.
Knotted at 2-2 heading to the top of the ninth, Castleton struck for two and did not look back. Matt Jackson started the action with a single to left that dropped at the charging outfielder's toes. Pat Mumford followed with a well-placed bunt - meant as a sacrifice - that wrong-footed the pitcher and earned him a base knock. Out of the lead-off spot, Deagan Poland moved the runners over with a sac bunt to make it second and third with one gone.
Stepping into the box following a pitching change, Davis Mikell saw a plethora of fastballs, fouling off multiple pitches. Refusing to chase the outside bait, Mikell got under a pitch just enough to loft it into left near the foul line. Following the catch, Jackson raced home to give the Spartans their first lead since early in the contest. Not done, Castleton scored one more as Dillon Benham picked up an RBI single with a ball that tailed to toward the gap in right field to score Mumford and make it 4-2.
With no score in the top of the fourth, the Spartans sent a couple of soaring flyballs deep. Leading off the frame, Dylan Bailey put a charge into the first pitch offering, smoking it within a few feet of the warning track. During the next at-bat, Caron provided a similar jolt but got under the ball enough as it carried over the left-field fence.
In the seventh - with Castleton trailing 2-1 - Mumford earned a walk and moved to third on Mikell's base hit to right. After the latter moved up on a defensive indifference play, making it second and third, Mumford proceeded to steal home and tie the contest at 2-all.
On the mound, Garrett Moran earned the no-decision after tossing 4.1 innings and allowing two earned, while striking out six. In relief, Joe Gratton (1.2 innings) and Charlie Stapleford (1 inning) tossed 2.2 frames with a couple of strikeouts. Andy Kenosh threw the eighth and was the pitcher of record to earn the win, while Mikell entered in the ninth to pick up his third save of the season.
Baseball returns to action at 10 a.m. on Friday as it faces the Apprentice School in a single contest at War Memorial Stadium. Following a brief break, the Spartans will take on Tufts University in a single game (scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.).
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