With the double-elimination conference tournament hosted by St. Joseph’s (Maine), the Castleton baseball team entered a four-team field as the top seed.The Spartans, beginning postseason action with a record of 25-10 and 10-2 in the NAC, met fourth-ranked Maine-Farmington in the tourney’s opener.
Junior outfielder Chris Ragis went 3-for-5 and drove in four runs, while freshman Travis Bass also pounded out a trio of hits to lead Castleton to a dominating 16-1 victory. Tom Cummings pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed only three hits.
It is always tough to defeat a team on its home turf, a challenge which the Spartans needed to overcome against St. Joseph’s.
The hosts jumped out to an early lead with a home run in the first inning and would cruise to win 12-1. Castleton did not have an answer offensively, producing only two hits to the Monks’ 16.
Now with their backs on the ropes and one game to decide who will play St. Joseph’s in the final, the Spartans and Husson College battled it out to keep their respective seasons alive.
Husson, coming off eliminating Maine-Farmington from the tournament, delivered the knockout punch to Castleton in a 6-5 ballgame.
Coach Shipley’s Spartans won 14 of 15 games to close out the regular season, but exited the NAC Playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Both Cummings and fellow pitcher Ron Cahill represented the school as selections to the ten-player All Tournament team.
This season’s 26 wins set an all-time Castleton record, surpassing the 2002 squad’s 24 victories.