The men on Castleton baseball team seemed to enter this week like they just got off a rollercoaster at The Great Escape. The ride began April 8 against defending champion St. Josephs of Maine in front of the home crowd. With a chance to reach .500 and start off with a 2-0 conference record, the Spartans split the doubleheader, winning the first and losing the second.
The ride to the top seemed to get longer and slower as they got swept in a doubleheader the next day by a solid Husson College, getting outscored 15-2 in the process. During a non-conference game against Williams, you could see the rollercoaster begging to drop from the slow trip up. Castleton played very hard in an 11-inning loss 6-5.
“Every game one facet of our team plays well, but it’s not always the same facet,” Coach Ted Shipley said.
The anxiety settled and finally the wheels were propelling in speeding-bullet fashion as balls seem to fly in every direction of the park as the Spartans romped over local St. Josephs of Rutland April 14. This was break-out game that the Spartans had been looking for all season. Only allowing one run on the entire day, the Spartans won 17-1 the first game and 20-0 the second.
With full steam and momentum, the Spartans were ready to continue their winning ways. But as with all roller coasters, they seemed to get spun for a loop as their defense could not stop the bats of visiting St. Michael’s College. They lost both games of the double-header, 12-2 and 9-5.
Tim Zorio leads the team with a .441 average in 19 games played. Right with him is the hard-hitting Phil Puleo, who leads the team in doubles and is tied for the team lead in homeruns. After that you have streaky hitters in Shawn Horvath, Ryan Bouck and Adam Massey.
The pitching has been a little more suspect. Hard throwing Adam Kuhn leads the team in strikeouts with 25, but as has also given up the most home runs (4). The bright spot seems to be reliever Rob Turner, who made a very good spot start against St. Josephs (Rutland) allowing 4 hits and striking out 11.
It remains to be seen whether this team will end the season motion sick or reeling from their own adrenaline from a late season rush.
“We need to keep working hard, show up to games mentally and play the way the game is supposed to be played,” Shipley said.