CASTLETON, Vt. – The University of Maine at Farmington staved off elimination with a 3-1 victory over Lyndon State College, in Saturday morning action at the 2014 North Atlantic Conference Baseball Tournament at Spartan Field.
The Beavers were unable to carry that momentum into an afternoon elimination game against the host squad from Castleton State, and dropped an 8-2 decision to the Spartans.
UMaine-Farmington closed its season with a 14-22 record, the program's best win total since the 1991 season.
Castleton State improved to 27-10 overall, and will face Husson in an elimination game for the Spartans on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. One-loss Castleton will have to defeat Husson twice on Sunday to capture the 2014 NAC crown.
Freshman Trevor Hisler and sophomore Sean Cabaniss rapped RBI singles in the second inning to score all the runs the Beavers would need to defeat Lyndon. Jordan Croteau opened the frame with a base on balls, and advanced on Brett Wallingford's sacrifice bunt and a single off the bat of Grayson Beressi.
Hisler plated Croteau on an infield single to short, while Beressi crossed on Cabaniss' base hit.
A leadoff single by Croteau was the catalyst to the Beavers' single run in the sixth as well, and he eventually scored on an error by Lyndon pitcher Mason Brewer.
Lyndon ended Farmington's shutout bid in the seventh on a Chris Sevigney single that plated Ian Sackett. Sackett got aboard with a double to right center to begin the inning.
Cabaniss went 3-for-3 versus Lyndon pitchers Brewer and Jeff Williams, while Croteau and Beressi each had a pair of singles.
Farmington starter Kyle Peterson scattered seven hits and fanned three Hornet batters in the complete game victory. Brewer was tagged with the loss for Lyndon, after allowing two earned runs on nine hits and two walks. He also recorded four strikeouts in the losing cause.
Sophomore Jimmy Neal got the start for the Beavers in the day's second elimination game, and he held Castleton State to just five hits but yielded four walks in the hard luck loss to end Farmington's season.
After two scoreless innings, the Spartans got on the scoreboard in the top of the third. Soren Pelz-Walsh drew a leadoff walk, and scored on Allen White's two-out grounder to short.
A solo home run to left center by Daniel Errico and Nate Swahn's two-run shot to left field extended Castleton's lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning. The two teams traded single runs in the fifth inning, with the Spartans' Matt McNamee singling home Tyler Lord for a 5-0 Castleton lead in the top of the frame.
The Beavers replied in the bottom of the fifth, taking full advantage of Brett Wallingford's single down the right field line to open the inning. A Spartan fielding error allowed Wallingford to move to second, and Dustin McCrossin chopped a single into center field to bring home the senior shortstop.
Castleton added one run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to build an 8-1 lead before Farmington would score again.
The Beavers put up one run in the bottom of the seventh, after McCrossin stroked a two-out double into left center. He was plated by Ben Keene, who singled into center field on the next at bat.
McCrossin had three hits off Castleton pitching, two of which were doubles, while Neal went 2-for-4 at the plate versus the Spartans.
Neal lasted four-and-two-thirds innings on the hill, and was lifted for reliever Mark Leahy in the fifth. Leahy lasted through the seventh, fanning three of the 12 batters he faced in the relief stint. Bradley Jackson and Nick Cartmell finished off the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings for the Beavers, with Jackson recorded one strikeout while Cartmell picked up two Ks. The three Farmington relievers combined to allow just one hit and one earned run in four-and-a-third innings of work.
Castleton's Conner Johnson scattered nine hits in the winning effort, throwing no strikeouts but issuing no walks either. Offensively, six different Spartans each had one hit.