WATERVILLE, Maine – The Lyndon State College baseball team finished a wild weekend in Maine by sweeping the Thomas College Terriers in a twinbill Saturday night, 9-2 and 3-1, in North Atlantic Conference play. The team's mental toughness was on display for the second round of the doubleheader against Thomas as the games from Friday night finished after midnight, then the team spent the night in a hotel before hanging around Waterville for the 7:00 p.m. start time Saturday night.
Head coach Tom White spoke about his team's mental toughness and ability to respond to adversity following the game, "Mentally, we train our players to be able to handle adversity that comes in all different forms. Late games, long road trips, poor weather, all are things we cannot control. We preach to focus on things we can control and not to waste time on things we cannot. 'Control the controllables.' We can control our attitude, preparation, and effort. Those are intangibles we instill into our players from the minute they step on campus. The mental game is crucial in athletics, and more importantly in life. There is no question the mental game and mindset will be an advantage for our program going forward."
After the four-game series, the Hornets improve to 11-6 overall and 4-1 in the NAC while the Terriers drop to 3-22 overall and 3-11 in the NAC.
The Hornets jumped out to an early lead in the top half of the second as a sacrifice fly from Jake Perkins (Hartford, Vt.) scored David Laroche (Franklin, Vt.). Ian Machia (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) followed up with an RBI double down the left field line to take a 2-0 lead.
Thomas answered in the bottom of the third as Derek LeBlanc grounded out to third to plate Kyle Fletcher.
Lyndon pushed across two more runs in the top of the fifth for a 4-1 advantage. A sacrifice fly from Andre Eason Jr. (Waterbury, Conn.) and a fielder's choice from Trevor Markey (Ocoee, Fla.) brought in the two runs.
The Hornets offense exploded for five more runs in the final frame on RBI singles from Markey, Perkins, and Eason.
Thomas added one run in the bottom half on an RBI single from Alex Curtis, scoring Isaiah Arana to finish with a score of 9-2.
Jeff Williams (Gilsum, N.H.) had an impressive game on the mound for the Hornets, throwing all seven innings, allowing two hits and two runs for his second win of the season. Williams held a no-hitter going into the final inning.
Eason Jr., Laroche, and Zak Johnson (East Hampton, Conn.) all finished with two hits while Eason Jr. added three RBIs.
Brandon Hubbard started for the Terriers, going five innings, scattering five hits and four runs (two earned).
The Hornets struck first in the top of the fourth after three scoreless innings. Codi Smith (Hartford, Vt.) sent a sacrifice fly to right field to score Laroche.
Lyndon added two insurance runs in the top of the fifth as Machia scored on a wild pitch and Devon Rollins (Winooski, Vt.) came in on an error at third base.
Thomas cut the lead down to two in the bottom half of the inning as an RBI double from Curtis scored Grant Corbett who had reached on an error.
Hornets' closer Andrew Whalen (Cumberland, R.I.) shut down the Terriers in the seventh inning to finish the game at 3-1 for his sixth save of the season, already doubling his total from last season. Zak Johnson (3-1) threw six innings in the victory for Lyndon, allowing seven hits and one unearned run.
Kyle Fletcher was handed the loss for Thomas after 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and three runs (two earned).
The Hornets host New England College for a doubleheader as well as to finish their suspended game from April 11. The Hornets lead 3-0 going into the top of the fifth inning and will begin play at 11:45 a.m.
The Terriers will travel to Bowdoin on Monday, April 17 for a 4:15 p.m. game.