WINTER PARK, FL - The Thomas baseball team came away with a split in a doubleheader with the Castleton Spartans in a North Atlantic Conference clash on Monday afternoon from Winter Park in Florida.
The Terriers (3-7, 1-1 NAC) outlasted the Spartans (8-4, 1-1 NAC) 6-1 in 11 innings in game one, keyed by a five-run top of the eleventh inning. In game two, Thomas was shut down as Castleton went on for the 1-0 win.
Neither team could generate any offense in the early going, as the two teams combined for just three hits in the first three innings. Thomas finally broke onto the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth inning, as Nik Beeson, Michael De Los Santos and Alex Curtis all collected singles to load the bases up with one out. Ryder Kenney flied out to rightfield and Beeson tagged up to score and give the Terriers the 1-0 lead.
Thomas had a chance to add on in the top of the fifth, but left the bases loaded De Los Santos flied out to centerfield. They loaded up the bases once more in the sixth, but Derek Kane hit into a fielder's choice to put an end to that scoring opportunity.
Castleton came through with their back against the wall in the bottom of the seventh, as they capitalized off of a Terriers throwing error to plate a ran and even the score up at 1-1 and send the game into extra innings.
After three innings into extras, Thomas finally was able to break through in the top of the eleventh in a big way. Anree Benitez and Beeson each reached base with just one out in the inning, and Beau Ewton would single to centerfield off Spartan pitcher Zac Harrington to put Thomas ahead 2-1.
The Terriers weren't done, as they would add four more runs, as Christopher Esquivel singled home two runs, Kenney got an RBI off of a ground out and one run was scored on a Castleton error.
Beeson retired the Spartans in order to end the game and give Thomas the victory in game one. Kane was the starter on the mound and went seven innings, giving up just four hits and one unearned run while striking out six. Beeson went the remaining four innings to get the win, allowing just one hit with four strikeouts.
Benitez, Beeson and Esquivel all had three hits to lead Thomas, with Kenney and Esquivel each driving home two as the Terriers out-hit the Spartans 15-5.
The second game of the day was a pitcher's dual, as Peyton Kennison of Thomas and Steven Jurkiewicz of Castleton both went the complete game.
Neither team had much of a scoring threat until the bottom of the third, when Castleton had runners on second and third with just one out. Kennison closed the door on the Spartan opportunity, striking out Zach Bahan and getting Dan Errico to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.
Thomas had a chance to score in the top of the fourth, as Kane walked and Beeson singled with one out. De os Santos would get an infield single with two outs to load the bases up for Curtis. But Curtis grounded out to third and the threat was ended.
The Spartans struck for lone run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Jimmy Buckley doubled and Nate Swahn followed with a double of his own to plate Buckley and give Castleton the lead.
The Terriers had one more shot in the top of sixth, when Benitez and Beeson reached and were at second and third with two outs, but Jurkiewicz got De Los Santos to fly out to left.
Kennison went all six innings for Thomas, allowing six hits and one earned rn with five strikeouts. Jurkiewicz went seven for Castleton and allowed just three hits and struck out eight.
Thomas and Castleton will be back on the diamond tomorrow, March 31 to play another doubleheader, with the first game starting at 12 PM.