May 6, 2017

2017 NAC Baseball Championship Games 1-3: Castleton, Husson & NEC Advance

For the Printable Tournament Bracket - click HERE.

Three North Atlantic Conference (NAC) baseball tournament games were played on Saturday, May 6.

No. 4 Husson handed top-seeded Castleton a 7-2 loss in Game 1, while No. 2 New England College claimed an 11-8 victory over No. 3 Lyndon in Game 2. Game 3 saw the Spartans claim a 12-0 victory over the Hornets, which eliminated Lyndon from the 2017 tournament.

Day 2, Sunday, May 7, will consist of the Eagles taking on the Pilgrims at 11:00 a.m. in Game 4, with the loser then playing the Spartans at 2:00 p.m. in Game 5.

The four-team double elimination tournament will see Game 6 played on Monday, May 8, with the winner of Game 4 taking on the winner of Game 5 at 10:00 a.m. An "if necessary" game will follow 30 minutes after the completion of Game 6.

Please note that all start times and dates are subject to change.

The NAC tournament champion will earn automatic qualification into the upcoming 2017 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.

2017 NAC BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
All start times and dates are subject to change

Hosted by Castleton

Saturday, May 6
Game 1: No. 4  Husson 7, No. 1 Castleton 2 - Boxscore
Game 2: No. 2 New England College 11, No. 3 Lyndon 8 - Boxscore
Game 3: No. 1 Castleton 12, No. 3 Lyndon 0 - Boxscore

Sunday, May 7
Game 4: No. 4  Husson vs. No. 2 New England College - 11:00 a.m. - Video
Game 5: No. 1 Castleton vs. Loser of Game 4 - 2:00 p.m. - Video

Monday, May 8
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 - 10:00 a.m. - Video
Game 7: If necessary (30 minutes after completion of 6) - TBD - Video

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Game Recaps:

Game 1: No. 4  Husson 7, No. 1 Castleton 2 - Boxscore

Behind a complete-game pitching effort and constant offense, fourth seed Husson University upset top seed Castleton University, 7-2, Saturday morning in the first game of the 2017 North Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Spartan Field.

With the victory, Husson improves to 22-18, enters the winners' bracket, and will next play at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 7. Castleton falls to 30-8 and will have to return to action in the third game Saturday as it faces elimination.

Husson immediately put together back-to-back hits off Castleton starter Michael LaBeau (Bellows Falls, Vt.), eventually loading the bases in the top of the first inning. After LaBeau struck out Alex Chapman (Westford, Vt.) for the second out, David Hutchins (Hingham, Mass.) hit a ball deep into the hole at shortstop for a single, scoring Mike Wong (Lewiston, Maine) to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Chapman led off the third winning with a walk, Hutchins followed with a single, and Luke Covey (Milton, Vt.) singled into right-center field, scoring Chapman. Hutchins would score Husson's third run of the game on a double play grounder. With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Covey singled and Conor Maguire (Ellsworth, Maine) sent a shot down the right field line for a double, scoring Covey to increase the Eagle lead to 4-0.

Castleton broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Mitchell Caron (Augusta, Maine) reached on an error and advanced to third on a double by Dylan Bailey (Duxbury, Vt.). Pat Mumford (Chippenhook, Vt.) followed with his own double, scoring both Caron and Bailey to cut the Spartan deficit in half. However, after a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Castleton could not continue the offensive rally, as Husson starting pitcher Ben Walls (Bar Harbor, Maine) earned a strikeout and a flyout to escape the inning.

Husson loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning, with Christian Corneil (Bangor, Maine) driving in Logan Rogerson (Brewer, Maine) on a sacrifice fly to left field. The Eagles put the game away with two more runs in the eighth inning, as Sam Huston (Bangor, Maine) was hit by a pitch, Cornell followed with a double, and Chapman sent a single up the middle to drive both men in.

Walls improved his record to 6-2 with the complete game victory, throwing 127 pitches, including 86 for strikes. He allowed eight hits, two walks, and two runs, one of them unearned, while striking out six Castleton hitters. LaBeau took the loss to fall to 5-3 after allowing 10 hits, three walks, and four runs in five innings, striking out five Husson batters along the way.

Husson collected 15 hits in the game, led by Rogerson with a 4-for-6 performance. Huston reached base all five plate appearances with a single, two walks, and two times being hit by a pitch, while four other Eagle starters earned two hits apiece.

Bailey and Zach Bahan (Shaftsbury, Vt.) led Castleton with two hits apiece, while Dillon Benham (Lenox, Mass.) drew two walks to give the Spartans some scoring chances.

Husson will face the winner of the game between New England College and Lyndon State, while Castleton will face the loser of that contest in an elimination game. 

Game 2: No. 2 New England College 11, No. 3 Lyndon 8 - Boxscore

After allowing an early lead to disappear and actually falling behind at one point, second seed New England College used the long ball to rally for an 11-8 victory over third seed Lyndon State College in the second game of the 2017 North Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Spartan Field on the campus of Castleton University.

New England College improves to 23-18 and will enjoy the rest of Saturday before returning to Spartan Field Sunday, May 7, to face Husson in game four of the tournament at 11 a.m. Lyndon State immediately returns to action, facing Castleton in an elimination game Saturday scheduled to begin at 4:35 p.m.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the score tied at 8-8, Evan Delaney (Hadley, Mass.) hit a line drive home run over the left field wall to put New England College back on top. The Pilgrims extended their lead in the eighth inning when Conor Crouse (West Haven, Conn.) led off with a single and Jameson Carey (Amherst, Mass.) followed with a two-run home run to left-center field.

Raymond Rosado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) came into the game with one out in the fifth inning and allowed just two hits and one walk in 2 2/3 innings of work to earn the victory for NEC. Stanley Vargas (Boston, Mass.) pitched the final two innings, earning three strikeouts to collect the save. Lyndon State's Neil Robinson (Stoddard, N.H.) took the loss after allowing the Delaney home run.

New England College jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning, loading the bases with one out on an error and two batters hit by pitches. Jeam Castillo (Lynn, Mass.) drove in Carey with a single, and then Joe Paliotte (Warwick, R.I.) sent a single up the middle that scored Luis Atiles (Dorchester, Mass.) and Delaney.

After two more hit batters, Aneury Lara (Boston, Mass.) drove in Castillo and Paliotte with a double to left field, and Crouse followed with his own double, scoring Manuel Alejandro (East Hartford, Conn.) and Lara to give the Pilgrims a 7-0 lead.

Lyndon State immediately cut into its deficit in the top of the second inning, as Codi Smith (Hartford, Vt.) led off with a single, Trevor Markey (Ocoee, Fla.) followed with a double, and Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, Maine) drove in both players with a one-out single to left-center field. With two outs and two runners on, Andre Eason Jr. (Waterbury, Conn.) singled to left field to score Rollins, and Ryan Cordeiro (Rollinsford, N.H.) would come around to score from first base thanks to an error.

Zak Johnson (East Hampton, Conn.) led off the third inning with a walk, advanced to third base on back-to-back groundouts, and scored on an attempted double steal with Sam Ognenoff (Brattleboro, Vt.), who put himself in a rundown to allow Johnson to come home. New England College had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the third by loading the bases, but Lyndon State induced a popout to end the threat.

In the fourth inning, Rollins drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a single by Cordeiro, and scored on a single by Eason Jr. After a double steal, Cordeiro scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Doris (Lincoln, R.I.), tying the game at 7-7.

Lyndon State took the lead in the top of the fifth as Markey singled to right field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, reached third on the back end of an attempted double steal, and scored on a double to left-center field by Rollins. In the bottom of the fifth, the Pilgrims would tie the game on back-to-back doubles by Andrew Castano (Inwood, N.Y.) and Alejandro.

Crouse and Paliotte each went 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI to lead the New England College offense. Lyndon State actually outhit the Pilgrims, 14-10, led by 3-for-4 performances by Eason Jr. and Rollins as well as a 3-for-5 hitting day by Smith.

Game 3: No. 1 Castleton 12, No. 3 Lyndon 0 - Boxscore

The Castleton baseball team collected 16 hits behind a complete-game shutout by Devin Hayes to lead the Spartans to a 12-0 victory over Lyndon in a North Atlantic Conference Championship Tournament elimination game on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Field.

Six Spartans recorded a multi-hit performance in the game, including three base knocks each from Dillon Benham, Zach Bahan, and Pat Mumford. Bahan and Davis Mikell both homered in the contest, combining for five RBI and four runs scored.

Hayes scattered four hits and struck out nine with no walks over 9.0 innings of work to improve to 7-1 on the season.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly by Josh Rylant, the Spartans erupted for eight runs on seven hits in the fourth. Mikell opened the inning with a double that landed at the bottom of the fence in right field. After Rylant worked a walk, Matt Jackson and Jonathan Lindau laced back-to-back RBI singles to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead. Mumford continued the offensive attack with a two-RBI single up the middle, before scoring on an RBI single by Benham. Following a single down the left field line by Bahan, Mikell hit a three-run home run over the wall in right field for his second extra base hit of the inning to extend the Spartan lead to 9-0.

Mumford led the top of the sixth inning off with a single to left field, and he scored three batters later on Bahan's sixth home run of the season. Lindau capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning as the Spartans went on for the 12-0 victory.

Andre Eason Jr. went 2-for-4 to lead the Hornets offensively. Zak Johnson (5-4) saddled the loss on the mound, allowing nine earned runs over 4.0 innings of work. Tyler Davis pitched 1.2 innings out of the bullpen, allowing two earned runs on two hits with a pair of strikeouts. Jake Jourdain and James Mundy combined to throw 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, before Andrew Whalen allowed two hits and one unearned run in the ninth.

Castleton (31-8) will play the loser of the New England College versus Husson matchup on Sunday. Lyndon concludes its season with a 22-20 overall record. 

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