Lyndonville, VT - The Lyndon State College baseball team knocked off Castleton University, 8-5, in the second game of a Friday afternoon doubleheader featuring the top two teams in the North Atlantic Conference. The win gave the second place Hornets a Senior Day split with the first place Spartans and ended Castleton's 15-game winning streak. The Hornets are now 15-15 overall and 11-5 in North Atlantic Conference play, while the Spartans are 25-10 on the season and 19-3 in the NAC.
Game 1 - Castleton 4, Lyndon 2
Both starting pitchers, the Hornets' Davis Guyer (Lyndon, VT) and the Spartans' Cameron Goulet (Winstead, CT) found their groove early, as both teams went down quietly in the first two innings.
Guyer quickly retired the first two batters in the top half of the third inning before Castleton's Deagan Poland (Williston, VT) singled to left. Davis Mikell (Williston, VT) followed with another single, then Jonathan Lindau (Middletown, NY) delivered a two run double to left to give Castleton the lead. Mitchell Caron (Augusta, ME) then singled home Lindau, stole second, and scored on Dillon Benham's (Lenox, MA) base hit to make it 4-0, Castleton.
The Hornets got two runs back in the bottom of the third. After Ryan Cordeiro (Rollinsford, NH) reached on a fielder's choice and Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME) reached on an error, both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Andre Eason Jr. then singled to right, scoring both Cordiero and Rollins, and cutting the Castleton lead to 4-2.
Guyer settled in and didn't allow a hit over the last four innings. Only two Spartans reached base over that stretch, both by drawing walks. Meanwhile, Goulet set the Hornets down in order in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.
Zak Johnson (East Hampton, CT) and Ryder Thorton (Essex, VT) both singled to start the bottom of the seventh inning, putting the tying runs on base. Mike LoVerde (Staten Island, NY) then executed a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Goulet then walked pinch hitter David Laroche (Franklin, VT) to load the bases. Zach Hale (St. johnsbury, VT) was called out on strikes when an inside two strike pitch nicked his bat and was caught by Spartan catcher Lindau. Goulet then got Cordiero to ground to third, ending the threat and the ballgame.
Goulet got the win for Castleton, going all seven innings, allowiong one earned run while striking out five and walking three. Guyer also went the distance in the loss, yielding seven hits, striking out four, and walking two.
Between games of the doubleheader Lyndon's ten seniors were honored for their contributions to Hornet baseball. Ian Machia (Enosburg Falls, VT), Collin Clark (Rutland, VT), Neil Robinson (Stoddard, NH), Andrew Whalen (Cumberland, RI), Hale, Laroche, LoVerde, Guyer, Eason, and Cordeiro were joined on the field by their families as Hornet head coach Tom White spoke on their respective careers in Lyndon uniforms.
Game 2 - Lyndon 8, Castleton 5
What had been an overcast day became a rainy one as the bach half of the doubleheader unfolded. Castleton put a run on the board in the top of the first inning when Mikell delivered a one out single off of Lyndon starter Dennis Farnham (Orono, ME) and two batters later Caron doubled him home.
The Hornets struck back in the bottom of the first inning. Cordeiro led off the inning with a single to left, then Eason reached on the first of six Castleton errors in the contest. Codi Smith (Hartford, VT) then launched a deep double to center field, scoring both Cordeiro and Eason. Laroche's two-out single back up the middle scored Smith and made the score 3-1, Hornets after one.
Neither team scored in the second inning and Tyler Davis (Groton, VT) relieved Farnham in the third and pitched two scoreless innings without giving up a hit. Meanwhile, the Hornets were able to tack on a run in the bottom of the third. Eason reached on an error to lead off the inning then came all the way around to score on another long Smith double.
The Hornets got their bats going in the bottom of the fourth inning. Caleb Laroche (Franklin, VT) singled with one out. Cordeiro then laced a double to left, scoring Laroche. Jason Doris (Lincoln, RI) followed with a single, moving Cordiero to third. Eason's single scored Cordeiro, then Smith's third double of the game drove in Doris and Eason to extend the Lyndon lead to 8-1.
Robinson came in as the third Hornet pitcher to open the top of the fifth inning, and retired the Spartans only allowing a walk. In the bottom of the fifth the Hornets loaded the bases by firtue of a walk and a pair of Spartan errors but Castleton reliever Jacob Nadeau (Hampton, VA) was able to pitch out of trouble and strand all three runners.
Conditions continued to deteriorate heading into the sixth inning. In the top half, Caron and Benham both reached on errors to start things. Andrew Graciano (St. Johnsbury, VT) then got Castleton closer when he delivered a double to left, scoring both runners. The Hornets threatened in the bottom of the inning when Johnson singled and advanced to second on an error and third on a balk. He was strnded there, however, leaving Lyndon with an 8-3 advantage heading into the final inning.
Whalen came in as Lyndon's fourth hurler of the contest to start the seventh inning. Poland walked to start the inning, but Whalen retired the next two batters. Down to their last out, the Spartans stayed alive when Caron reached on a throwing error which also allowed Caron to come aroud to score. Benham's double scored another run, and when Dylan Bailey (Duxbury, VT) drew a walk Castleton suddenly had the tying run at the plate in the form of pinch hitter Josh Ferro (Queens, NY). Whalen got Ferro to fly out to Eason to end the game and give the Hornets the win.
Lyndon will close the regular season with three doubleheaders in Maine over the next three days. The Hornets will play a four game set at Husson on Saturday and Sunday, followed by a twinbill at the University of Maine at Farmington on Monday. First pitch Saturday and Monday will be at 1:00 pm, with a 12:00 noon start on Sunday. Castleton will play at Colby-Sawyer on Tuesday.