HAMPTON, Va. – Castleton led 2-0 after the opening inning of play, but Tufts responded with five runs over the following eight innings to hand the Spartans a 5-2 defeat in non-conference action at War Memorial Field.
With the loss, Castleton has now lost three of its last four games and stands at 4-6 on the season. The Jumbos, meanwhile, improve to 2-0 on the year with the season sweep over the Spartans.
Charles Stapleford took a no-decision in his first career start, tossing five innings with three runs (two earned) and five strikeouts. Sam Sylvain suffered the loss after giving up two runs in his lone inning of work, while southpaw Aaron Smith tossed two innings of scoreless relief.
Speros Varinos picked up the win for Tufts after tossing a gem. The junior went seven strong innings, giving up just two runs (zero earned) while striking out ten batters. Ian Kinney closed out the game by allowing just one hit in two shutout innings.
The Spartans collected six hits in the contest, led by Jim Buckley, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Mike McLaughlin accounted for half of the Jumbo hits after going 3-for-3 at the plate, while Tommy O'Hara drove in a pair of runs.
Castleton wasted little time to take the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. With two on and two out, Buckley ripped a bases-clearing single to put the home side in front. Tufts got on the scoreboard in the following frame when McLaughlin's fly to deep right field cut the Jumbo deficit back to one.
Tufts scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth to bring the game back to level terms before Kevin Godin's RBI single in the top of the fifth gave the Jumbos their first lead of the game, 3-2.
In the top of the eighth, O'Hara extended the Tufts lead to three with a two-run single, and it seemed that the Spartans were going to respond in the bottom half of the frame, but Kinney got out of the jam with a bases-loaded strikeout and pitched a scoreless ninth to hand the Spartans a 5-2 defeat.
Castleton closes out its six-game roadtrip tomorrow at 11:00 am when it plays the Coast Guard in a doubleheader on the Nitchman Field in New London, Conn.