CASTLETON, Vt. --- The Thomas College baseball team saw its run at the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship Tournament come to an end Saturday evening with a 6-1 loss to Husson University at Spartan Field.
Husson (23-20), the No. 2 seed, advances to Sunday's championship game against host and top-seeded Castleton at 10 a.m. Thomas bows out at 20-20 overall.
The Eagles grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Ryan Rebar (jr., Harmony, Maine / Foxcroft Academy) led off the game with an infield single to third base, then moved around on a JT Whitten (sr., Waterville, Maine / Waterville) single and a wild pitch before scoring on a Julien Boone (sr., Washington, D.C. / Archbishop Carroll) groundout to second base.
Rebar also scored the game's second run when he came home on a Mike Wong (fr., Lewiston, Maine / Lewiston) double to left center in the third inning.
That score held until the seventh inning when Whitten put the game out of reach with a grand slam to left center off Thomas starter Isiah Fleming (sr., Fairfield, Maine / Lawrence). Cam Archer (jr., Old Town, Maine / Old Town) led off the inning with a walk and stole second before moving to third on a Rebar single. The Eagles loaded the bases when Wong reached on a throwing error by Michael De Los Santos (so., Robstown, Texas / Robstown) at third base to set the table for Whitten's blast.
The Terriers mounted a small charge in the bottom of the eighth as Anree Benitez (sr., Orlando, Fla. / University) reached on an infield single to third base and went from first to third on a Derek Kane (sr., Natick, Mass. / Natick) single through the right side.
Nik Beeson (sr., Manchester, N.H. / Trinity) followed with an RBI single to right center that scored Benitez and allowed the Terriers to avoid the shutout.
Husson loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but Beeson, who came in to pitch in the seventh, struck out Christian Corneil (jr., Bangor, Maine / Bangor) looking to end the threat.
Rebar finished with three hits and three runs scored and Whitten had a pair of hits to lead the Eagles.
Dan Whitney (sr., Bethel, Maine / Telstar Regional) grabbed the win on the mound, scattering nine hits and striking out two in a complete-game effort.
Fleming went seven innings on the mound for the Terriers, taking the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks. He had five strikeouts. Beeson pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out one.
The first three batters in the Thomas batting order accounted for seven of the Terriers' nine hits. Beeson, who started the game at catcher, went 3-for-4 and had an RBI in his final collegiate game. Fellow seniors Benitez and Kane each went 2-for-4. Freshmen Max Salevsky (Hollis, Maine / Bonny Eagle) and Isaiah Arana (Orlando, Fla. / Timber Creek) accounted for Thomas' last two hits.