Castleton, Vt. – The number two seeded Thomas College baseball team's 2012 season came to a close on Saturday afternoon with losses to number four Colby-Sawyer and number one Castleton State in the North Easter Athletic Conference East Division Championship.
Game One vs. Colby-Sawyer
Fourth seeded Colby-Sawyer erased a one-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning and held on for the dramatic 4-1 upset win over second seed Thomas to advance to the finals of the North Eastern Athletic Conference East Division on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Field
The Chargers plated three runs in the last of the eighth to take a 4-1 lead and starter Kevin Keith and Greg Doucette shut the door in the top of the ninth to continue their run at the NEAC East Division crown. Colby-Sawyer improves to 20-20 with the victory while Thomas falls to 25-16 with the loss.
Keith was impressive in 8.2 innings of work, allowing just a single run while scattering 12 hits over that span. He also recorded eight strikeouts without a walk. Doucette came on for the final out of the game with runners on the corners and induced a flyout to end the game and earn his third save of the year.
The Terriers got on the board first, scoring their lone run in the bottom of the second. Thomas Cameron led off the frame with a single, and after a strikeout, John Charves and Jeff Perrault each singled to load the bases. Jeff Richardson followed with an RBI groundout, but Keith was able to get out of the inning without any more damage done.
Colby-Sawyer put forth its first serious threat of the game in the third inning. John Wylie hit a one-out single and Sean Gavin followed with a single of his own. Greg Mehuron then drew a walk from Tim Locke to load the bases for Tyler Stotz. Locke induced a groundball and the infield turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
In the fifth, Wylie led off with a walk and then stole second. He advanced to third on a grounder and scored on a wild pitch to tie the score 1-1.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, Thomas Cameron singled up the middle for the Terriers. Rob Nutter followed with a bounding grounder that hit a lip in front of the shortstop and bounced over his head for a single. Cameron scooted over to third on the play, but couldn't make it home as groundout to short ended the inning.
In the bottom of the frame, Mehuron led off with an infield single that nearly made it up the middle. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stotz. Andy Lapple came through for the Chargers with a lined shot that nicked the glove of the leaping third baseman before going landing fair in left. Mehuron scored on the play to make it a 2-1 game.
Jake Szulak followed with a fielder's choice reaching first and then taking second as Lapple got caught in a pickle between third and home. Justin Martin came through with an RBI single and Rob Wallace hit an infield single to put runners on the corners. A balk during the next at bat gave the Chargers the 4-1 lead.
Down to the team's last at bats, Thomas' Perrault led off with an infield single to the right side in the top of the ninth. He stole second, but each of the next two batters flied out and he was unable to advance. Ben Goodall came through with a single to put runners on the corners. Keith's day was done, but Doucette came in and closed the door to secure the win.
Game Two vs. Castleton State
The Spartans never trailed and used a four-run fourth inning to advance to the North Eastern Athletic Conference East Division Championship game with an 8-2 victory over Thomas on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Field
Castleton got an impressive performance from junior Patrick Riley, as he went the full nine innings while allowing two earned runs on just six hits. He also finished with three strikeouts as the Spartans improved to 28-14 with the victory. Thomas drops to 25-16 as their season comes to a close with the loss.
Offensively, the Spartans pounded out 14 hits including a 3-for-3 performance from senior Peter Wagner at the five-spot in the lineup. He also walked twice in reaching base all five times he came to the plate. Three other players recorded a pair of hits.
David Brandt got the offense going with a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first. The senior then stole second and third, and came home on a sacrifice fly to right field by Ryan Zielinski. Joe Borowski, and Wagner followed with singles to load the bases for Cameron Curler. Curler hit a grounder and the infield got the force at home for the second out, before a flyout ended the frame.
Thomas responded in the top of the second as Cody Vigue jacked a solo shot over the left field fence to tie the score 1-1.
In the top of the sixth, Jeff Richardson reached on a fielding error with one out to give the Terriers life. Ethan Hurley followed with a single but Riley induced a grounder to Curler at short that started the 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Wagner led off the bottom of the frame with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Curler followed with a bunt down the third-base line that was fielded by starter James McLamb. McLamb's throw would have been late, but sailed over the first baseman's head and Wagner came around from second to score.
That was the end of the day for McLamb and he was replaced by Jake Chamblee. Macyn Clifford laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Curler and Greenlese was hit on the first pitch he saw to put runners on first and second. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch with two down and Brandt at the plate. He hit a chopper just to the right of second base and beat out the throw as Curler scored from first for the 3-1 lead. Zielinski kept the rally going with a single up the middle, scoring both runners on base.
An inning later, Mayo and Wagner led off with back-to-back walks, setting the table for Curler. He laid down the sacrifice bunt, moving them to second and third. Clifford then came through with a bloop single, scoring pinch runner DJ Detweiler from third. After a failed squeeze bunt play at home, Mat Pause walked to load the bases for Brandt. He grounded out, but Clifford scored on a wild pitch during the at bat to give the Spartans a 7-1 advantage.
Castleton added another run in the eighth as Zielinski led off with a single to center. He was forced out on a fielder's choice by Detweiler, however with two down, the senior stole second and then came home on a single by Wagner to make it 8-1.
Thomas added a single run in the ninth for the 8-2 final. McLamb took the loss, going 5.0 innings and giving up three runs, two of them earned. He also struck out two batters while walking one.