CASTLETON, VT – Thomas could not hang on from a 5-3 advantage, seeing their 2013 campaign come to a close in a 6-5 loss to Castleton in the fifth game of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Baseball Tournament on Sunday evening.
Thomas jumped on Johnson in the top of the first as three of the first four batters singled to give the Terriers a quick 2-0 lead. With runners on second and third, Johnson walked Thomas Cameron, loading the bases. However, the freshman struck out Nik Beeson looking and then induced a groundout to end the frame.
In the bottom of the fourth the Terriers struck again. Johnson sent down the first two batters but then gave up a single to Cody Vigue and hit Jeff Richardson on a 0-2 count to put runners on first and second. Derek Kane followed with double to left-center, scoring Vigue for the 3-0 advantage. Johnson then got a groundout to avoid further damage.
Castleton's offense came through in the top of the fifth. Mat Pause led off and reached on a fielding error by Beeson at third. Lord followed with a double down the right field line, putting two runners on for Zielinski. The senior dropped a single into right scoring Pause and Joe Borowski followed with an RBI double down the left field line to bring the Spartans within one, 3-2. Following pop out, Macyn Clifford put a ball through the left side, scoring Lord to tie the game 3-3.
The Terriers responded in the bottom of the frame. Dillon Emerson led off with a single and advanced to second on a groundout. A hit-by-pitch and single loaded the bases for Vigue. Johnson hit him, forcing in a run, and then he hit Richardson to bring home another run for the 5-3 Thomas lead. Zack Groat tried to extend the lead, but was thrown out at home after a wild pitch from Johnson, for the final out.
Cameron Curler opened up the sixth with a walk and Pause doubled two batters later. Lord followed with a little dribbler to the left of Jake Chamblee and his only play was at first, allowing Curler to score. A few pitches later, Pause took advantage of a wild pitch, scoring on a headfirst slide to knot the score at five apiece.
In the top of the ninth, Lord led off with a single and Zielinski followed with a bunt between the mound and first. Borowski then walked to load the bases for Hoagland. He flied out to left field, allowing Lord to score from third standing up.
Thomas could not come through in the bottom of the ninth for a comeback, seeing the season come to an end.
Chamblee took the loss for Thomas as he tossed 3.0 innings of relief and gave up two runs on four hits with one strikeout. Isiah Fleming started and went the first 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs. Cameron came in for Chamblee with runners on in the ninth and finished off the frame.
Vigue went 4-for-4 on the afternoon for the Terriers as they concluded their season with a 16-25 record. Derek Kane and Dillon Emerson each went 3-for-5 as the team totaled 13 hits.