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Castleton Spartans

Baseball Splits Doubleheader to Open Season

Baseball Splits Doubleheader to Open Season

Hampton, Va. - The Castleton baseball team began its season with a convincing 10-0 win over host Apprentice, before dropping game two of the day to No. 11 Tufts, 6-4, on Friday at War Memorial Stadium. 

With the split, Castleton moved to 1-1 overall on the season. Apprentice fell to 13-8, while Tufts improved to 1-0.  

GAME 1: Castleton 10, Apprentice 0

Castleton belted 12 hits and Devin Hayes fired seven scoreless innings as the Spartans opened their season with a 10-0 rout of Apprentice on Friday morning. 

Seven Spartans recorded a hit in the game, led by Davis Mikell's 3-for-5 effort. Mikell also scored two runs, while Mitchell Caron and Dylan Bailey each added two hits and two RBI. Hayes improved to 1-0 on the season with 10 strikeouts and no walks while scattering three hits over seven innings of work.  

Castleton jumped out to an early lead with four runs in the second inning. After Jonathan Lindau reached on a fielder's choice and Caron singled to left field, back-to-back walks from Dylan Bailey and Pat Mumford scored the game's first run. With the bases still loaded, Deagan Poland drove in two with a single into center field, and an errant throw home also allowed Mumford to score to give the Spartans a 4-0 lead.

The Spartans added three more runs in the third. Zach Bahan led the inning off and with a hit by pitch and scored two batters later after Mikell singled and Lindau laced a two-RBI double into the left center gap. After Matt Jackson popped out to short, Caron extended the Spartans' lead to 7-0 with a sacrifice fly.

The Spartans plated two runs in the fifth and added one more in the eighth, while Aaron Smith set the Builders down in order in the eighth and ninth to preserve the 10-0 shutout victory.

GAME 2: Tufts 6, Castleton 4

Castleton outhit Tufts 13-9 and surged for four runs over the final two innings, but the Jumbos capitalized on six defensive miscues early and held on late to earn the 6-4 victory on Friday afternoon.

Mikell and Lindau each collected three hits for the game and scored one run, while Dillon Benham and Jackson both went 2-for-4. Michael LaBeau suffered the loss for Castleton, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out six over five innings of work. 

Tufts plated the game's first two runs in the top of the third. Oscar Kutch was hit by a pitch and stole second before Tommy O'Hara followed up with a RBI-single into center field. After Malcomb Natchmanoff reached first on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a Nick Falkson single, a throwing error to first allowed Natchmanoff to score and give the Jumbos an early 2-0 lead.

Tufts added runs in the fifth and eighth innings on sacrifice flies from Falkson and Will Shackleford to extend its lead to 4-0 before Castleton battled back with three runs in its home half of the eighth. 

Poland initiated the rally in the bottom of the eighth with a leadoff single and advanced to third after Lindau poked a single into left center. With runners at the corners and just one out, Bahan and Mikell cracked back-to-back doubles into left field to cut the deficit to just one, 4-3. Tufts pitcher Ian Kinney came out of the bullpen and escaped the jam, however, with back-to-back strikeouts to strand the tying run at second base.

Tufts responded with two runs in the top of the ninth on an RBI-single by Falkson and a bases-loaded walk by Eric Schnepf to make the score 6-3 heading into the final at bats for the Spartans.

Josh Rylant led off the bottom of the ninth with a double down the right field line and Benham scored him two batters later on an RBI-single into left center. Down to their final out, Lindau was set down on strikes as the Jumbos held on for the 6-4 victory.

Speros Varinos picked up the win on the mound for Tufts, striking out 13 while allowing seven hits and no runs over seven innings. Falkson led the Jumbos offensively with two hits, two RBI, and a run scored.

Castleon will travel to Salisbury, Md. on Saturday to play two nine-inning contests against No. 2 Cortland. The first pitch for game one is slated for 10:30 a.m.