Castleton's triple play highlights NEC sweep - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Castleton's triple play highlights NEC sweep

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The Castleton baseball team ran its win streak to five games with a pair of victories, taking down New England College 14-1 and 6-4 on cool Thursday afternoon.

The Spartan offense totaled 20 hits on the day and scored 20 combined runs to improve to 7-4 overall. The Pilgrims, meanwhile, dropped to 0-4 on the year.

Adam Greenlese continued his stellar start to the season, earning his fourth win of the season in the opener. The junior went the full 7.0 innings and allowed six hits and one run with a walk while striking out six NEC batters.

At the plate, Joe Borowski went 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs in the first game while Ryan Zielinski and Connor Hoagland each finished with three hits between the two contests.

In the opener the Castleton wasted little time in getting on the board. Tyler Lord led off with a single but was forced out at second on a fielder's choice by Zielinski. Zielinski moved to a second on a groundout, stole third and then scored on a passed ball for the 1-0 lead.

The Spartans offense came alive in the second, as each of the first two batters reached base. Mat Pause followed with a walk to load the bases, though each of the next two batters got out. With two down, Borowski laced a double to the wall in centerfield, scoring all three runners. Conner Hoagland then reached on a throwing error by the catcher, allowing Borowski to score for the 5-0 advantage.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fourth. With one out and the bases loaded, Matt McNamee hit grounder between first and second and the Pilgrims were able to get the force at second, but Zielinski came in from third. Cameron Curler followed with an RBI single to short to make it a 7-0 contest.

In the top of the fifth, the Pilgrims put runners on the corners with one out. Jordan Hubbard then hit a ball back to Greenlese. He fired to Curler on second and he threw it on to first. At first, Borowski saw the runner on third break for home and fired the ball to Pause, who tagged him out for the 1-6-3-2 triple play.

Castleton added a run in the bottom of the fifth for the eight-run lead. Greenlese kept the New England College off balance until the top of the sixth. Following a grounder to open the frame, Francesco DiRe blasted a ball over the left field fence to cut the deficit to 8-1.

In the bottom of the inning the Pilgrims were able to get the first two outs before an error by pitcher Chris Wallace on a White hit opened the door. White stole second and then came home on a single by Pause for the 9-1 lead. Lord followed with a walk, before an error on a Zielinski hit allowed Pause to score from second. Castleton finished the inning with six runs to take a 14-1 lead.

Wallace allowed five earned runs and seven total as he earned the loss, going 4.0 innings. He also walked six and struck out three.

New England College opened the scoring in the nightcap, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Three of the first Pilgrim batters singled, the third an RBI single down the left field line by Kevin Caputo for the 1-0 lead. Krum followed with a groundout to second, which scored a run for the 2-0 advantage.

McNamee helped Castleton get on the board with a leadoff single. A sacrifice bunt advanced him to second and he went to third on a passed ball. Nate Swahn's groundout scored McNamee to cut the deficit to 2-1.

In the fourth, New England College added a run to extend its lead to 3-1. However, in the bottom of the frame the Spartan offense finally broke through. Hoagland and Clifford earned back-to-back hits and with one out, Curler hit a little bouncer to the mound. Hoagland scored on the play and Eric Johnson's toss to home to get him was wild, allowing Clifford to come around from second to score on a headfirst slide, tying the game 3-3. Chaz Millet followed with a walk and Lord drove home Curler on a single. Both runners then advanced on a wild pitch and Millet scored when Zielinski's ball four pitch was wild, putting the Spartans in front 5-3.

The Pilgrims cut into the lead in the top of the fifth. After a walk and single, NEC attempted the double steal of second and home. The Spartans cut off the throw to second, but DiRe scored on the errant toss home; however, Swahn picked up the ball and fired it to third to get the out.

Castleton added an insurance run in the fifth to finish with the 6-4 victory.

Patrick Riley went the distance to earn his third win of the season. In 7.0 innings he allowed eight hits and three earned runs while striking out seven. Eric Johnson was saddled with the loss, giving up six runs in 5.0 innings.

Castleton returns to action on Friday when the team host Maine-Farmington for a doubleheader starting at 2 pm.

Courtesy: Castleton Athletics

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