CASTLETON, VT - The Thomas baseball team was defeated by the Castleton Spartans 14-2 in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship this afternoon at Spartan Field. It is the second consecutive title for the Spartans. The Terriers finish as the runner-up in conference.
Castleton didn't waste any time in setting the tone, as the reigning NAC Champions manufactured five runs off three hits in the bottom of the first to take a 5-0 lead. After back-to-back runners reached base to open the inning, Nick Swim singled through the left side of the infield to plate the first runner of the game.
Dan Errico followed with a bases-clearing triple before Nate Swahn brought him home with a single to right. Tyler Hoare capped off the scoring with a fielder's choice to short to drive in the fifth Spartan run of the afternoon and put the squad ahead by five.
In the second, Errico drove home his third run of the ballgame to push the hosts' lead to six. With one out in the frame, Taylor Vile dropped a bunt down the third base line for a single, and two batters later, Errico mashed a double to straightaway center to bring home the second baseman home and give Castleton a 6-0 lead.
After adding a run in the fourth, the Spartans tacked on two more in the following frame. Jim Buckley led off the inning with a line drive single to right before Bahan belted a two-run shot to left center to stake the Spartans to a 9-0 advantage.
Thomas got on the board in the top of the sixth with one run to close the gap to eight. Jurkiewicz walked the first three batters of the frame before Michael De Los Santos grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that allowed the first Terrier run of the game to score.
However, the Spartans responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of their own to go ahead by ten. Swim led off the frame with a ground-rule double to center, and Errico followed with a RBI single to left. After Swahn flew out, Buckley and Hoare hit back-to-back singles before Bahan ripped a shot into right to plate a run and give the hosts an 11-1 lead.
Ryder Kenney broke up Jurkiewicz's no-hit bid in the top of the seventh after doubling to deep left center. In the ninth, Brett Sommers collected an RBI on a groundout that plated De Los Santos for the second Terrier run.
Peyton Kennison took the loss for Thomas after giving up four runs off of two hits. Eight Terriers made appearances on the mound. De Los Santos singled and walked to led the team offensively, as Thomas was able to draw eight walks on the day but could not collect many hits.
The Terriers conclude their 2015 season as the conference runner-up and with an overall record of 18-22. Nik Beeson finished second in the conference in batting average (.383) and saves (5) while Anree Benitez finished fourth in batting average (.371), second in stolen bases (15) and led the conference with 38 runs scored.
Benitez, along with teammates Michael De Los Santos and Dominic Esposito were named to the NAC All-Tournament Team.
Nick Swim – Castleton (MVP)
Devin Hayes – Castleton
Tyler Hoare – Castleton
Dominic Esposito – Thomas
Michael De Los Santos – Thomas
Anree Benitez – Thomas
Tom Grady – Maine-Farmington
Dustin McCrossin – Maine-Farmington
Kyle Bishop – Husson
Jordan Carter – Husson