AUBURN, Mass. – University of Maine at Farmington sophomore Jimmy Neal went 2-for-2 at the plate and drove in four runs and nearly led the Beavers to an upset before falling, 5-4, to Castleton State in game two of the teams' North Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday at the Auburn High School baseball field.
UMaine-Farmington (4-14, 3-5 NAC) dropped the first game of the twinbill to Castleton State, 5-1.
Neal's day at the plate included a two-run home run in the second inning, scoring Dustin McCrossin who reached on a single through the left side on the previous at bat.
Castleton (11-5, 8-1 NAC) knotted the game with two runs in the bottom of the second on RBI doubles by Jim Buckley and Tyler Lord, but the Beavers regained a 4-2 lead with two runs in the fourth. Grayson Beressi stroked a leadoff single, and McCrossin got aboard on an error at short. Neal plated both runners on a double down the right field line.
The Spartans took the lead for good with a three-run fifth inning on three hits, three walks, and a sacrifice fly.
Ben Keene and McCrossin each had two hits for the Beavers, while the Spartans' Daniel Errico went 3-for-4 at the plate. Tyler Lord also had two hits for Castleton State.
Freshman Paco Camire allowed five earned runs on eight hits over four-and-two-thirds innings and was charged with the loss. Adam Greenlese also yielded eight hits and four runs, three earned, but recorded six strikeouts in the win.
In the day's first game, the Beavers were held to just four hits by Spartan starter Samuel Spencer, who fanned three Farmington batters with no walks.
Farmington's only run came in the top of the fourth, briefly tying the game at 1-1, after Neal's sacrifice fly to center allowed Keene to score from third with two outs. Keene reached earlier in the frame on a fielder's choice grounder.
Castleton took a 2-1 lead on a Soren Pelz-Walsh RBI single through the left side in the bottom of the fourth. That lead was stretched to 4-1 in the fifth when Lord scored on a wild pitch, and McNamee sacrificed home Allen White with a fly ball to center field. The Spartans added an insurance run it the sixth when Jim Buckley singled home Macyn Clifford.
Mark Leahy surrendered five earned runs on eight hits in his six-inning performance, allowing four walks while striking out two in the loss.
The Beavers have the week to prepare for a scheduled home series against Lyndon State. With two feet of snow on Hippach Field, a new location and date for those games has not been determined but will be announced later in the week.