Beavers, Spartans split day one of NAC series

Beavers, Spartans split day one of NAC series

RINDGE, N.H. – The University of Maine at Farmington held Castleton State to just 10 hits over two games and took a split off the Spartans in a North Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader Friday morning at Franklin Pierce University's Pappas Field.

The Beavers posted a 3-1 in in the day's first game, handing the Spartans their first conference loss of the season. Castleton took advantage of four Farmington errors in the second game, and hung on for a 5-2 win.

In game one, the Beavers posted two runs in the bottom of the fifth to break the scoreless tie. Singles by freshman Jordan Croteau and Sean Cabaniss put runners at first and third with one out, and a Brett Wallingford grounder to first allowed Croteau to cross. Cabaniss came home on the next at bat, a Ben Keene RBI single into right center.

Farmington added its third run in the seventh when Grayson Beressi's sac fly to center plated Wallingford, who reached on an error by the right fielder earlier in the inning.

Castleton State spoiled Farmington's shutout bid with a run in the bottom of the frame, when Macyn Clifford got aboard with a double, and scored on another double down the left field line by Soren Pelz-Walsh.

UMF starter Jimmy Neal held the Spartans to just two hits with four strikeouts over six innings of work to earn his first collegiate victory. Freshman Brandon Soper came on in the seventh and allowed one unearned run on two hits with one strikeout, but did enough to earn the save.

Castleton grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning of game two, on singles by Clifford and Tyler Lord coupled with a hit by pitch, a catcher's interference call, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly.

The Beavers tied the game up with single runs in the third and fourth innings. Keene's base hit through the right side scored Neal to cut the Spartan lead to 2-1, and Farmington pulled even with Castleton State on Ethan Gouin's sacrifice fly to center that allowed Beressi to score. Beressi reached on a single to leadoff the inning.

The Spartans manufactured the go-ahead run in the fifth, starting with Chad Willet's leadoff single up the middle. Willet stole second, was sacrificed over to third, and scored on Clifford's fielder's choice grounder to short.

Two more Castleton State runs crossed in the sixth on one hit and three UMaine-Farmington errors. Joshua Jenna plated one run with a sac fly to left field, and Millet singled home another run with two outs later in the frame.

Sophomore Jory Humphrey got the start on the hill for the Beavers, fanning three Spartans but allowing three earned runs on five hits over four-and-a-third on his way to the loss. Castleton State starter Luke Salerno scattered five hits and yielded two runs, one earned, in the win.

Keene finished the day 3-for-6 at the plate with two runs batted in, while Cabaniss and Dustin McCrossin each had a pair of hits over the two games.

UMaine-Farmington and Castleton State are scheduled to conclude their four-game NAC series with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 5, at 3:00 p.m. at Auburn High School in Auburn, Mass.