Thomas Drops Two of Three to Castleton

Thomas Drops Two of Three to Castleton

Release courtesy of Castleton sports information

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – After opening the four-game weekend series with conference rival Castleton with a victory on Saturday, the Thomas College baseball team dropped two of three games Sunday as the series wrapped up at the Lake Myrtle Athletic Complex.

The first contest of the day was a continuation of yesterday's doubleheader, which was postponed due to poor weather conditions. The teams started today with the Terriers leading 2-0 in the bottom of the third with two runners on base and two outs, and they only managed to concede one run through the remainder of the contest. 

In the team's scheduled doubleheader, Castleton posted a 12-4 victory in game one and then took down the Terriers 9-2 in the second game to finish with a 2-2 mark in North Atlantic Conference action. 

Luke Salerno tossed a complete game victory in the opener while Charles Stapleton went the full seven innings to secure the win in the nightcap. Zach Bahan and Mitchell Caron each reached base five times on the day, with Bahan registering three hits.

Game One
The halted game was a pitcher's duel through the first 2 2/3 innings. Thomas starter Matt Rutherford struggled in the first but sent down seven straight to get through the third with just two hits allowed. Devin Hayes, meanwhile, was clean through the first two innings. 

In the bottom of the third, however, Hayes walked Isaiah Arana and then missed on his pickoff attempt and Arena advanced all the way to third. Following a one-out walk, he tried to pick off another runner and missed again. One run scored on the play and Smestad advanced to third, before eventually scoring on a single by Kane. Nik Beeson followed with a single before the game was called for the day. 

Zac Harrington came on in relief to face Beeson and was back on the mound today with two outs and runners on, but got a strikeout looking to end the threat. 

Castleton's offense finally showed signs of life in the top of the fifth, as Skylar LaFerriere and Deagan Poland led off with back-to-back singles. Taylor Vile bunted them over, and Patrick Mumford drove a ball to center field for a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 2-1. A fly out ended the inning one batter later.

The Spartans threatened in the sixth as Bahan reached on a two-out single. Caron and LaFerriere both followed with singles to load the bases, however a strikeout by Poland ended the threat. 

Castleton went down in order in the seventh to give Thomas the one-run win.

Game Two
Thomas jumped on Salerno in the bottom of the first inning. Four straight runners reached with one out, capped off by a three-run double from Rob Harris. Salerno got out of the frame with back-to-back groundouts. 

The Spartan offense came alive in top of the second. Jim Buckley led off with a walk while Bahan and Caron followed with singles. LaFerriere put a single through the left side to score a pair of runs and Caron reached home on a groundout by Mumford. Vile gave Castleton a 4-3 lead a he ripped a triple to right, plating LaFerriere. 

An inning later, Castleton used a two-out rally to stretch its lead to 6-3. Bahan walked with two down, and each of the next three batters reached, allowing Bahan to score. Mumford followed with an RBI single for the three-run lead. 

The Spartans added two more in the fourth, on an RBI triple by Errico and a single from Buckley to stretch their lead to 8-3.

Thomas got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, but Castleton countered with two more in the top of the sixth for a 10-4 advantage. Buckley tripled and scored in the frame. 

Two more runs off a pair of walks and errors provided a 12-4 advantage for the Spartans, and Salerno shut the door in the bottom of the frame to secure the win. The junior allowed five hits and three earned runs while walking three and striking out two.

Game Three
The Terriers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Anree Benitez singled and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Zach Mathieu

Castleton answered in the next frame with a run to tie it up. Bahan led off with a single and two batters later Nick Patierne drove him in on a single to left field. 

In the third inning, Kane led off with a double to the centerfield wall and came around to score for the 2-1 advantage. 

The Spartans responded in the top of the fourth with an impressive two-out rally. Caron started it with a walk and Patierne followed with a single. Poland then reached on a fielding error, loading the bases. Mumford drew an RBI walk, and Vile followed with a two-run single to give Castleton a 4-2 lead. Nick Swim and Errico kept the rally going with back-to-back hits to push it to an 8-2 advantage. 

Patierne drove in Zach Dichard for the final run of the game in the top of the seventh and Stapleford walked the first batter before retiring the final three to win the game. He allowed four hits, two after the first inning, with two earned runs, three walks and four strikeouts. 

The Terriers are back in action on Tuesday when they face Keuka at 10 a.m.