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Hornet baseball season comes to an end in NAC Tournament

Hornet baseball season comes to an end in NAC Tournament

Castleton, VT - The Lyndon State College baseball season ended on Sunday afternoon, as the Hornets fell twice in the double elimination North Atlantic Conference Championship Tournament.  Castleton University came from behind to down the Hornets, 11-5, in the winner's bracket final.  The Hornets then faced New England College in an elimination game and came out on the short end of an 11-2 score.  Lyndon closes the season with a 20-20 overall record.  Castleton (29-10) and NEC (26-14) will meet on Monday for the NAC Championship.

Game 1 - Castleton 11, Lyndon 5

Castleton's Davis Mikell (Williston, VT) opened the scoring in the top of the third inning with an RBI single up the middle to score Deagan Poland (Williston, VT), who worked a two-out walk and advanced into scoring position on an errant pickoff attempt.

Lyndon responded with a pair of runs in the home half of the third after loading the bases with nobody out.  Ryder Thorton (Essex, VT) singled through the left side and Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME) followed with an RBI groundout to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead.

Castleton struck with three runs on the strength of three hits in the top of the third to reclaim the lead.  Matt Braman (North Adams, MA( singled up the middle to score Mitchell Caron (Augusta, ME) and Pat Mumford (Fairbanks, AK) lined a two-run single to left field to give the Spartans a 4-2 lead.

Zach Hale (St. Johnsbury, VT) gave the Hornets the lead in the bottom of the fifth after sending a two-run single to left field and later scoring on wild pitch to put the home team back in front, 5-4.

The Spartans came alive from there, working into the Hornets' bullpen to score seven unanswered runs over the final four innings. Mikell and Jonathan Lindau (Middletown, NY) drove in a run apiece in the sixth, before Mikell belted an RBI double and Caron lifted a sacrifice fly to stretch the Spartans' lead to 8-5 in the eighth.

Steven Walsh (Granby, CT) drove in an insurance run early in the ninth, before Poland capped the scoring with a two-run single up the middle to give the Spartans the 11-5 victory.

Mikell and Walsh finished with three hits apiece as the Spartans tied their season-high with 14 hits in the win.  Andy Kenosh (Rutland, VT) allowed just two hits over four scoreless frames of relief to pick up the save.  Cameron Goulet (Winsted, CT) earned the win after yielding five runs (two earned) on nine hits with four walks and three strikeouts over five frames.

Thorton led the Hornets with four hits and Jason Doris (Lincoln, RI) finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.  Lyndon used five different pitchers in the game, and John Boulay (Dighton, MA) shouldered the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of relief.

Game 2 - New England College 11, Lyndon 2

A fast start offensively and a strong pitching performance from Shayne Audet (Springfield, MA) carried NEC past the Hornets in the elimination game.  NEC sent 18 batters to the plate over the first two innings and jumped out to an early 7-1 lead thanks to a pair of three-run home runs by Evan Delaney (Hadley, MA) in consecutive frames.

The Hornets scored their only run of the early going in the top of the second inning.  Ian Machia (Enosburg Falls, VT) doubled home Zak Johnson (East Hampton, CT), who had reached on an error to start the inning.

Xavier Nunez (Lawrence, MA) added a sacrifice fly in the third inning and John Prentice (Saugus, MA) grounded into a double play to force another run home in the fourth to extend the Pilgrims' lead to 9-1.

NEC added to its lead in the seventh with two runs on two hits.  Manuel Andujar (West New York, NY) led off with an infield single and advanced to third on a double by Luis Atiles (Dorchester, MA).  With two runners in scoring position, both came around to score on an RBI fielder's choice by Prentice and a sacrifice fly by Christian Aybar (Pawtucket, RI) to extend NEC's lead to 11-1.

Lyndon got a run back in the top of the ninth after Thorton was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. He advanced to second on a walk by David Laroche (Franklin, VT), took third when Machia grounded into a fielder's choice, and scored Hale's sacrifice fly.  The Hornets' rally stopped there, however, as Audet capped his complete game with a ground out to secure the victory for the Pilgrims.

Audet struck out nine and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with four walks over nine innings. Four Pilgrims finished with two hits, led by Delaney, who went 2-for-4 with six RBI and two runs scored.

Andre Eason Jr. (Waterbury, CT) finished with three hits to lead Lyndon offensively.  Machia and Hale drove in the two runs apiece for the Hornets.  Lyndon used five different pitchers.  Starter Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME) took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in one inning of work.