GORHAM, Maine - Notching three runs in the bottom of the ninth, the sixth-seeded Castleton University baseball team fell - 12-9 - to No. 5 UMass-Dartmouth in the Little East Conference Championship at Southern Maine's Ed Flaherty Field on Thursday afternoon.
Castleton has been eliminated from the tournament and closes its first season in the LEC at 17-21 overall. UMass Dartmouth survives another day, moving on to face the loser of UMass Boston and Rhode Island College on Friday.
Trailing 12-6 heading into the last of the ninth, Castleton rebounded from two quick outs to put pressure on UMass-Dartmouth. Deagan Poland doubled to right to jumpstart the rally, moving to third on Mikell's infield single and eventually scoring on a throwing error by second. Back-to-back walks - to Bailey and Caron - loaded the bases before Dillon Benham was hit on an inside offering. Following a pitching change for the Corsairs, Matt Jackson drove in the Spartans' final run, earning a full-count base-on-balls.
The Spartans strung together three hits in the bottom of the fifth to put together their other multi-run inning. Bailey's infield dribbler to short gave way to Caron's double down the left-field line that curled into the corner, scoring the former. With Caron on second and two gone, Josh Ferro popped an RBI single to center.
Scoring one run in the first, second, sixth and eighth, Castleton remained aggressive at the plate throughout. Stewart III recorded an RBI single in the second, while Jackson earned a walk with the sacks full to score in the eighth. Mikell cracked a solo shot down the right-field line - his sixth of the year - in the sixth.
On the mound, Cameron Goulet took the loss, surrendering seven earned runs over 5.1 innings; he struck out seven. In relief, the trio of Charlie Stapleford, Joe Gratton and Jacob Nadeau combined for the final 3.2 frames, allowing two earned and ringing up three.
Castleton recorded nine runs on 16 hits in the loss, turning in an impressive offensive performance, despite leaving 15 runners on base.
The Spartans will return the majority of their roster for their second season in the Little East in 2020.
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