Even the collegiate baseball season is a long one and head coach Ted Shipley knows the Spartans have a long way to go in verifying the NEAC East’s preseason coaches poll that picked Castleton to repeat as conference champions.”We have a ways to go to be a contender,” Shipley said. “For the most part, we are a young and inexperienced team, and for our conference to pick us at one is flattering, but not a true indication of where we are at right now.”
As of now, the Spartans are 0-7 on the season after dropping four contests against Letourneau and the University of Texas-Tyler in February and three games versus Apprentice in Hampton, Virginia this past weekend.
“Despite the 0-4 results, we showed that we have some potential to become a pretty good team,” said Shipley about his team’s trip to the Lone Star State. “Both games versus Letourneau were winnable, but we made too many early season mistakes and wound up on the short end of the stick.”
Those early season mistakes continued to surface versus Apprentice in Castleton’s recent trip to Virginia as the Spartans let four different one-run leads slip away in their first game on March 4 losing 6-5 in 12 innings.
Castleton dropped the next two contests by scores of 13-5 and 14-3 to the Builders rounding out a pair of trips that highlighted some of the Spartans’ inefficiencies and also showcased some positive things to come for the rest of the season.
“Our offense has shown flashes so far, but our defense still is struggling,” Shipley said. “Joe Borowski and Dave Brandt both had good trips offensively. Others had moments, but no one else was consistently effective.”
Borowski, a freshman first baseman from Schenectady, New York, posted a .476 batting average, notched four doubles and knocked in three runs while Brandt took advantage of his Major League caliber speed swiping 10-out-of-10 bags, batted .333 and scored a team-high seven runs.
As the offense is on the fast track to finding its way, Shipley believes that the pitching staff will do the same, as well as the team, and be right in the hunt for a championship season.
“Our pitching has been hot and cold,” Shipley said. “When we’ve gotten good pitching, we’ve been right there. When we haven’t, we have added poor defense and that combination is never good.”
Shipley continued talking about his team putting it all together.
“I believe we can get there though [to the NEAC East Championship] and we have enough quality players and people to become a championship caliber team, we’re just not there right now,” Shipley said. “It is going to take some time and a lot of hard work.”
The Spartans have plenty of time until the conference schedule begins to put it together as Castleton will travel to Husson University on Saturday, April 2 for a twin bill against the Eagles with game one starting at 12 p.m.