NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Spartans played an exhausting 28 innings of baseball on Friday, beating both Tufts and Apprentice in dramatic fashion before their offense stalled in the final game of the day, settling with a 3-0 loss to the Jumbos on conclude the strong showing.
Castleton proved to be up to the task of playing three full-length games on Friday, opening the day by scoring twice in the top of the tenth inning to secure the program's first-ever win over Tufts, 6-4. The Spartans followed it up by plating three runs in the top of the ninth against Apprentice to break a 4-4 draw and eventually earn a 7-6 win. In the final game of the day, Castleton was limited to just three hits in a 3-0 loss by a Jumbos squad which went 34-9 a season ago.
Castleton rallied from a 4-1 deficit to capture a 6-4 victory over the Tufts Jumbos in extra innings on Friday morning.
Dan Errico and Tyler Lord paced the offense with a combined five hits. Errico finished 3-for-5 at the dish with three RBIs and one run scored, while Lord went 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.
After two scoreless frames to start the game, the Spartans struck first when Lord singled up the middle with two outs to drive home Jimmy Buckley and give the away side a 1-0 lead.
Tufts evened the score in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on three more in the following frame to take a 4-1 lead. After back-to-back singles put two on and just one out, Tommy O'Hara sent a double down the left field line to plate the first Jumbo of the inning. Cody McCallum followed with an RBI single of his own before James Howard's fielder's choice scored O'Hara to give the home side a three-run advantage.
Castleton responded with two runs in the top of the seventh to cut their deficit back to one. With two on and two out, a pair of wild pitches allowed Zach Bahan and Errico to score, making it 4-3 in favor of Tufts.
In the top of the eighth, the Spartans rallied to tie the game at 4-4. Lord led off the inning with a single and stolen base, followed by back-to-back outs. Zach Bahan then reached base after getting hit by a pitch before Errico drove Lord home to bring the game back to level terms.
After a scoreless ninth, the Spartans scored twice in the top of the tenth to complete the comeback. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Errico came through again in the clutch, plating a pair of runs with a single up the middle to hand the Spartans a 6-4 victory.
TJ Fearon pitched a perfect tenth inning to notch his first save of the year, while Ravey tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball to earn the win. Devin Hayes received a no-decision after giving up four runs with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.
Tom Ryan suffered the loss after giving up three earned runs with four hits in three innings pitched. Kyle Slinger, meanwhile, threw 6.1 innings with three earned runs and six strikeouts in his first start of the year.
The Spartans delivered a strong showing thanks to the pitching performance of starter sophomore Luke Salerno, who picked up a no-decision after tossing six strong innings with four strikeouts and just one earned run and four total.
Freshman Zac Harrington earned his first victory after throwing 2.1 innings of one-run baseball with one strikeout while Fearon pitched recorded his second save of the day. James Anthony, meanwhile, gave up three earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched in the losing effort.
Castleton, once again, got off to a quick start by taking a lead in the top of the first inning. With two on and out, Bahan signaled home a pair of runs to give the visiting side an early 2-0 lead. However, that advantage didn't last long, as Lee Rossi ripped a two-run single in the bottom half of the inning to bring the game back to level terms.
In the top of the second, the Spartans reclaimed the lead when Lord drove home his third RBI of the season, and the squad added to that advantage in the fifth when Bahan drove home his second RBI of the game to hand the away side a 4-2 lead.
With two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Castleton couldn't put away the Builders. After an error with two outs allowed one run to score, Mark Labrador followed that up with a single to centerfield, driving home the game-tying run to make it 4-4.
Following three scoreless frames, the Spartans grabbed three runs in the top of the ninth to capture a 7-4 lead. It was Errico once again who came up big, as he stepped up to the plate with two on and out and mashed a single down the left field line that plated a run.
Later in the inning, Buckley provided an RBI single, and Vile recorded a bases-loaded walk to push Castleton's advantage to three heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Apprentice made things interesting in the last half of play cutting its deficit back to one, but with two on and one out, Fearon was able to shut the door with back-to-back groundball outs to clinch a 7-6 Spartan victory.
Castleton's bats went silent in Friday's finale, despite an excellence pitching performance from Sam Spencer. The righty went 8.0 innings while giving up just one earned run on eight hits with four walks and six strikeouts, but took the loss. Tim Superko earned the win by going 8.0 innings and allowing two hits while striking out eight batters.
Tufts opened the scoring in the second on an unearned run by Matt Moser. The Jumbos threatened again in the fifth before breaking through in the seventh on an RBI single by Connor McDavitt.
In the top of the ninth sophomore Mike LeBeau allowed an earned run to push the Tufts led to 3-0. Bahan led off the ninth with a single and with two down Buckley walked to bring the tying run to the plate. However, a strikeout ended the team's fourth straight last-inning victory.
Castleton is now 5-3 on the season and returns to action on March 22 when the team travels to play Coast Guard.