Waterville, ME - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon baseball team rebounded from yesterday's sweep at the hands of Thomas College to return the favor today, shutting out the Terriers twice to split the four game series. With today's sweep, the Hornets improve to 20-19 on the season and finish 11-5 in North Atlantic Conference play, the best winning percentage for the program since Lyndon joined the NAC. Thomas falls to 12-22 overall and drops to 10-6 in conference.
Game 1 - NVU-Lyndon 6, Thomas 0
The Hornets jumped in front right away when the second batter of the game, Codi Smith (Hartford, VT) tripled to deep center field. Zak Johnson (East Hampton, CT) doubled to score Smith and put the Hornets in front.
Smith walked to lead off the third inning and moved to second when Johnson grounded out. He came around to score Lyndon's second run when Caleb Laroche (Franklin, VT) delivered an RBI single.
In the top of the fifth, Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME) drew a one out walk and came around to score on a Smith double, making it 3-0, Hornets. The Hornets manufactured another run in the top of the sixth on three straight singles from Ryder Thornton (Essex, VT), Noah Barton (South Burlington, VT), and TJ Santaw (Newport, VT).
The Hornets tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh inning. Johnson and Jason Doris (Lincoln, RI) were both hit by a pitch, then Laroche reached on an error to load the bases. Tucker Root's (Middlefield, CT) walk drove in a run, then Barton's infield hit produced another
Meanwhile, Hornet starter Jake Jourdain (Becket, MA) kept the Terriers at bay. Thomas threatened in the bottom of the first when Andrew Miller singled to lead things off, stole second, and advanced to third, but Jourdain retired the next two batters to strand him there. That would turn out to be the only Thomas baserunner to reach third base.
Jourdain allowed only three hits in posting the complete game shutout. Thomas starter Ryan Scepansky allowed four runs over 5.2 innings and took the loss.
Game 2 -
Lyndon again jumped on Thomas right out of the gate. Rollins drew a lead off walk to start the game. Smith followed with a base hit, moving Rollins to third. When Johnson grounded into a fielder's choice, Rollins scored to give the Hornets the lead. After Doris was hit by a pitch, Laroche singled to center, scoring Johnson. Root then delivered a two-out, two-run single back up the middle to make it 4-0, Hornets, after a half inning.
The Hornets added two more runs after two outs in the second. Smith walked, then Johnson singled and advanced to second on the throw trying to get Smith at third. Doris came through with a two-run base hit to left center, extending the Hornet lead to 6-0.
Root blasted a solo home run to left in the top of the third inning, making the score 7-0.
Hornet starter Tyler Davis (Barre, VT) sailed through the first three innings, before Thomas mounted their first serious threat in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Kappelmann and Nicholas Cousins started the inning with back to back singles. Davis settled in, however, and retired the next three hitters to end the threat.
The Hornets broke the game wide open in the top of the sixth inning. Smith walked to lead off, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Johnson doubled him home. Doris was then hit by a pitch, and replaced by pinch runner Tyler Roberge (Essex, VT). After both runners advanced on another wild pitch, Laroche lofted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Johnson. Roberge scored when Thornton reached on an error, then Thornton came all the way around on two wild pitches and a passed ball.
Lyndon added one more run in the top of the seventh when Smith singled, moved to third on Roberge's double, and scored on Laroche's infield hit.
Davis went six shotout innings, striking out four and allowing only four hits. Thomas only had one baserunner, Gabriel Crosby in the sixth inning, reach third base against Davis. Cooper Whitehouse (South Berwick, ME) came on for Davis in the seventh to close the game out. Terrier starter Cody Cousins took the loss, allowing seven runs in three innings of work.
The Hornets have clinched no worse than second place in the NAC. If the University of Maine at Presque Isle sweeps Monday's doubleheader against Husson University, the Hornets would finish first in the regular season and host the NAC championship tournament next weekend. If Husson should win one or both games, they will host.
Lyndon closes out the regular season with a non-conference game at Plymouth State University on Monday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 pm.