With two wins against its North Atlantic Conference rival Elms College on Saturday, Castleton’s Spartan baseball team, which has won 12 of its last 16 games, is hot at the right time. The playoffs begin later this week.
Just a little over two weeks ago, the Spartans faced their first NAC opponent of the season, Husson College. The Spartans dropped the first game of the doubleheader 3-2. That was the only NAC loss of the season for the Spartans. After they won the second game 1-0, they continued to roll, winning all eight remaining NAC games.
The Spartans have been rolling outside of their conference, as well.
A mixture of close nail-biting wins and slow blow-out wins has propelled the Spartans to a winning record. With their wins against Elms, the Spartans have dramatically improved their overall record. Two weeks ago, that record stood at a dismal 3-10. Now that record stands at 17-16
After defeating Elms in their final two NAC games of the regular season, the Spartans clinched the top seed in the playoffs for the second straight year.
While the team and Head Coach Ted Shipley are happy about being seeded number one, Shipley urges caution.
“We are excited to be the number one seed in the tournament, but as you know being the number one seed doesn’t guarantee you anything,” Shipley said.
The Spartans now have only one more regular season game, against non-conference Plattsburg, and so are turning their attention to the playoffs, which they will begin with high expectations.
“We believe if we prepare well and play our hardest that we have a very good chance to be successful,” said Shipley. “All of the teams in the tournament are good teams and all are capable of winning the tournament. It will come down to the team that is playing the best and the team that wins it on the field.”
Robert Turner, a starting pitcher, feels the same way.
“I think we are in a great spot to go into the playoffs with a lot of momentum and hopefully win the whole thing. The time has come around nicely and I like how we are playing,” said Turner.