Castleton Rallies Twice to Sweep Bears

Eric Vrissis
Eric Vrissis

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Castleton twice was down to its final three outs only to tie the game in the final inning and win both in extra innings sweeping Coast Guard in a non-conference doubleheader 8-5 in ten innings and 4-2 in eight innings.

The Spartans improve to 6-6 on the season while the Bears drop to 6-7 overall.

GAME ONE: CASTLETON 8, COAST GUARD 5 (10 INNINGS)

Castleton led 2-1 before Coast Guard scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead.

Freshman Will Stephens walked and the Bears tied the game 2-2 on an RBI single by junior Timbo Duncan. The Bears took the lead on an RBI ground ball by sophomore Christian Toscano  and got an insurance run when senior Cory Sonnega drew a bases loaded walk for a 4-2 lead.

In the seventh inning of the scheduled seven inning game, junior Nick Swim's two-run single tied the game 4-4.

In the tenth, the Spartans took the lead as Swim dropped down a suicide squeeze that was thrown away allowing two runs to score for a 6-4 lead before junior Jim Buckley added a two-run single for a 8-4 advantage and held on for the game one win.

Junior Michael LeBeau (1-0) got the win in relief as worked 5 2/3 innings allowing four hits, three runs (two earned) while walking four and fanning six.

Senior Conner Johnson started for Castleton and went 4 1/3 allowing three hits, two runs (both earned) with four walks and two strikeouts.

Freshman Walter Harris (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he was touched for six runs (three earned) and five hits in four innings of work.

Junior Colton Cannon pitched six great innings for the Bears and allowed two hits and two runs (one earned) while walking five and striking out a career-high nine, but got a no decision.

Buckley homered in the second to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. He and Poland each had two hits in the win for Castleton.

The Bears tied the game 1-1 on an RBI double by Duncan, who had two hits in the opener.

GAME TWO: CASTLETON 4, COAST GUARD 2 (8 INNINGS)

Coast Guard junior Eric Vrissis was four outs away from a no-hitter before the Spartans tied the game in the top of the seventh on another suicide squeeze and scored two unearned runs in the eighth to complete the sweep.

Sonnega's RBI single in the fourth gave Coast Guard a 2-1 lead and Vrissis was cruising.

Castleton scored an unearned run in the first and Vrissis had retired 11 straight before Swim's two-out single in the sixth broke up the no-hitter.

Coast Guard led 2-1 in the seventh when Buckley had a one-out single, freshman Dylan Bailey followed with an infield single before a double steal put both runners in scoring position. Junior Mike Ferro tied  the game with a squeeze.

In the eighth, an error opened up the inning and Castleton took the lead on a sacrifice fly by junior Zach Bahan before freshman Mitchell Caron followed with an RBI single to close the scoring.

Junior Luke Salerno (1-0) picked up the complete game win scattering eight hits and allowing a pair of earned runs while walking three and striking out seven.

Junior Justin Rebholz (0-1) took the loss as he was touched for a pair of unearned runs and two hits in the eighth. Vrissis allowed three hits in seven innings and just one earned run while walking two and fanning three.

Buckley had two more hits in the night cap for the Spartans.

Stephens and Sonnega each had two hits in the game two for Coast Guard.

The Bears are back in action, weather permitting, on Monday afternoon when they travel across town to take on Mitchell in a non-conference game at 3:30.

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