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Spartans benefit from Coast Guard errors

The Castleton State College baseball team swept non-conference foe Coast Guard Academy in Conn. during a doubleheader matchup on March 21. The sweep resulted from some very sloppy play by the Bears.Castleton scored 18 unearned runs during the two-game contest, thanks to a whopping total of 13 errors. Castleton won the opening game 6-1 and the second game 15-4.

“We played a lot better [today] than we have been,” head coach Ted Shipley said.

Castleton got off to a good start in game one when freshman Mathew Pause put the bat on the ball at the right time, driving in two fellow Spartans with a single in the top of the second inning. The Bears, meanwhile, were unable to get any offense going against Spartan pitcher Brandon Fay until the fourth inning, when the Bears’ starter, Riley Beecher, helped his own cause out with a RBI single.

The game remained close until the sixth inning, as Castleton exploded for four runs in the inning. Two of those four runs came courtesy of a Ryan Zielinski two-run single.

Shipley thought that Beecher seemed to tire toward the end of the game, and that certainly gave the Spartans an opportunity to pull ahead.

Shipley said that a key to the Spartan offense in game one was “good aggressive base running.”

Fay went the distance for Castleton, giving up just four hits, striking out five batters and walking just one. Fay is now 2-1 on the season.

“He pitched real good,” Shipley said. “He had real good command from start to finish.”

In game two, the Spartans didn’t wait long to get the bats off of their backs as they scored 10 runs in the first three innings of the game. Nine of the ten runs were unearned, though.

“Top to bottom we were pretty consistent [on offense].We didn’t hit all that great,” Shipley said. “They helped us out a lot. They gave us extra outs. And we took advantage of their sloppiness.”

Zielinski was a strong presence in the lineup again in game two, going 3-3 with one RBI. Billy Manley and Cameron Curler also put up three hits, helping the Spartans pound out 14 hits in all.

Ken Cook found himself on the mound for the Spartans in game two, and while he may have been shakier than usual, giving up nine hits and four earned runs, he went all seven innings and struck out seven batters.

“Kenny was real good. He went right after them,” Shipley said. “We put together a couple of long innings there, and he wasn’t able to get into a rhythm. He just did a good job of scattering the hits he gave up.”

The Spartans are now 4-7 in non-conference play. Next up for the team is a trip to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on March 24. The Spartans played RPI on March 19, and the outcome was less than ideal as they lost 12-8. Shipley says the Spartans are looking for a different outcome this time around.

“We wanna give them a better game than we did last time, that’s for sure,” he said.