CASTLETON, Vt. - Matt Jackson's three-run homer down the left-field line in the bottom of the fifth, put the Castleton University baseball team up for good as it earned a 5-2 victory over the Keene State Owls in Little East Conference action on Tuesday afternoon at Spartan Baseball Field.
Castleton improves to 14-16 overall and 6-6 in the conference, while Keene State falls to 9-18 and 3-8 in league action.
Stepping in with Dylan Bailey on second and Davis Mikell on third, Jackson worked the count before getting a pitch he could handle and sending it towering down the line in left and over the fence just inside the foul pole. Collecting just his second home run of his career - on Senior Day - the Shrewsbury, Mass. native nearly had his second long ball of the day after mirroring the play just one at-bat earlier but pulling the ball foul in that appearance.
Earlier in the inning, Mikell reached on a double as he sent the offering to the wall in left-center just missing a solo homer. After Bailey walked, Benham moved the runners over on a grounder to the pitcher.
Falling behind 1-0 on a single down the right-field line in the third, the Spartans immediately answered back with two in the bottom of the frame. Pat Mumford started off with a single and moved to third via Deagan Poland's base hit. Once the latter moved to second on the throw to third, the Owls opted to intentionally walk Mikell bringing Bailey up with the bags full. Answering the call, Bailey lofted the pitch to deep center for a sacrifice fly to tie the game, while Poland advanced to third and would score on Dillon Benham's sacrifice fly during the next at-bat.
On the mound, Cameron Goulet pitched a gem to improve to 4-2 on the season. The junior hurler went seven strong, allowing just one run and one walk while striking out five. Out of the bullpen, Joe Gratton tossed one inning and surrendered a single run. Closing out the game and earning his sixth save of the campaign, Mikell moved from first for the ninth and struck out one en route to a clean inning.
Prior to the game, Castleton honored its graduating class - Matt Jackson, Dillon Benham, Mitchell Caron, Deagan Poland, Jacob Nadeau, Dylan Bailey, Joe Gratton, Andrew Graciano, Sam Sylvain, Pat Mumford, Charlie Stapleford and Casey Piazza - recognizing them for their contributions to the Spartan baseball program during their careers.
Castleton returns to action at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday as the Spartans face former North Atlantic Conference opponent Colby-Sawyer in a single non-league game.
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