June 16, 2019
COLLEGE BASEBALL

Momentum helps Castleton sweep Husson

BANGOR – Husson College senior righthander James Gray was on the brink of a comfortable win in the first game of an important North Atlantic Conference doubleheader against Castleton State (Vt.) Saturday.

He took a 5-1 lead into the seventh inning and was working on a four-hitter.

But three hit batsmen, a couple of costly errors and four clutch singles generated six runs and gave the Spartans their 10th straight victory, 7-5.

Energized by the dramatic win, Castleton State jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second game en route to a 9-5 triumph.

Castleton State improved to 22-9 overall, 9-1 in the NAC. Husson fell to 11-18, 6-4.

The only good news for the Eagles was that Elms College’s sweep of Thomas (7-1, 7-5) meant Husson has qualified for the NAC Tournament along with Castleton State and St. Joseph’s College of Windham.

There were plenty of fireworks in the opener before the seventh inning.

In the top of the sixth, Billy Bruneau hit an inning-ending grounder back to Gray. Gray knocked Bruneau over with a rough tag which nearly resulted in a bench-clearing brawl.

“He dipped his shoulder. I didn’t want him to run me over,” said Gray. “I didn’t mean to hit him like that.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Castleton State lefty Jeremy Gilcris threw a pitch near Husson shortstop Adam Sheehan’s head and, two pitches later, he hit Sheehan in the helmet for which he was immediately ejected. That nearly triggered another brawl.

When asked about the incident, Gilcris offered up a “no comment.”

However, he did say Gray “questioned our pride” by “doing something he shouldn’t have done” and that fired up his team.

Castleton’s Shawn Horvath opened the seventh by reaching when Gray hit him in the leg with a 1-2 pitch.

One out later, Tim Zorio’s grounder handcuffed Sheehan for an error.

Gray hit Travis Bass with a pitch to load the bases and Jon Handy lined a 3-2 pitch into right center to score Horvath and Zorio.

Phil Puleo lined to Sheehan, who tried to double Bass off third. He also had a play at first as Handy was trapped between first and second.

“He just beat Nick [third baseman Nick Arthers] back to the bag by half a step,” said Sheehan.

Castleton’s Chris Ragis tied the game when his sharp RBI double to right center skipped past center fielder Bryan Biggers for an error that allowed a second run to score.

“He started me off with a curve [for a ball]. I knew he’d come back with a fastball because he was struggling and wanted to get a strike. I took the fastball up the middle,” said Ragis.

Eric Anderson ripped the next pitch for a base hit to break the tie.

“I knew he’d try to get ahead so I was looking for a first-pitch fastball,” said Anderson.

Gray hit Bruneau with a pitch and was replaced by Chris Pease, who gave up a ground ball RBI single to Lauck Blake.

“I ran out of gas, I guess,” said Gray. “I kind of left the ball over the plate and they were hitting them.”

Husson coach John Winkin shouldered the blame, saying “my not taking [Gray] out earlier” cost them the game.

Handy, Ragis and Anderson had two hits each for the Spartans and Brandon Heck picked up the win in relief.

Andrew Patterson and Brett Garland had two hits and two RBIs apiece for Husson and Danny White singled twice.

In the nightcap, Castleton State took its 5-1 lead on Zorio’s RBI single and Bass’ sacrifice fly in the second and three more runs in the fourth on Bruneau’s triple, Anderson’s RBI single; an RBI single by Handy and a double steal.

“We carried the momentum over from the first game,” said Anderson.

Biggers’ two-run ground-rule double in the bottom of the fourth and a White sacrifice fly made it 5-4 but winning pitcher Ron Cahill struck out Sheehan and Joe Robicheau to get out of the inning with the lead.

“That was the key point in the game,” said Winkin.

In the top of the fifth, Ryan Bouck’s triple, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Anthony DiPietrantonio stretched the lead to 7-4.

Jeff Miller singled home a run in the bottom of the fifth but CSC added two insurance runs in the seventh.

SPARTANS 7 EAGLES 5

(Saturday’s First Game)

Castleton State Husson

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Bass, ss 3 1 1 0 White, 2b 5 0 0

Handy, lf 3 1 2 2 Sheehan, ss 3 2 0

Puleo, 3b 4 0 0 0 Robicheau, c 3 1 0

Ragis, cf 3 2 2 1 Arthers, 3b 3 1 0

Anderson, 1b 4 1 2 2 Patterson, 1b 3 1 2

Bruneau, 2b 3 0 0 0 Garland, rf 3 0 2

Horvath, dh 2 1 0 0 Shannon, rf 0 0 0

Blake, dh 1 0 1 1 Graham, dh 3 0 0

Brooks, c 3 0 0 0 Lavway, dh 1 0 0

Zorio, rf 2 1 0 0 Miller, lf 4 0 Biggers, cf 3 0 1 1

Totals 28 7 8 6 Totals 31 5 9 5

Castleton State 000 001 6 – 7

Husson 300 011 0 – 5

E- Bass, Puleo, Bruneau, Gilchris; White, Sheehan, Biggers, Gray; LOB- CSC 7, Husson 11; 2B- Ragis; S- Arthers; SF- Patterson, Biggers

CSC IP H R ER BB SO

Gilchris 5 8 5 1 2 3

Heck (W, 2-0) 2 1 0 0 1 2

Husson IP H R ER BB SO

Gray (L, 1-2) 6 2/3 7 7 1 3 4

Pease 1/3 1 0 0 0 0

HBP- Ragis by Gray, Horvath by Gray, Bruneau by Gray; Sheehan by Gilchris; T- 2:02; ATT- 125

SPARTANS 9 EAGLES 5

(Saturday’s Second Game)

Castleton State (22-9) Husson (11-18)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Bass, ss 3 1 0 1 White, 2b 4 0 1

Handy, lf 4 0 2 2 Sheehan, ss 3 0 0

Puleo, 3b 3 0 0 0 Robicheau, c 3 0 0

Bouck, c 4 1 1 0 Arthers, 3b 4 0 0

Ragis, cf 4 2 1 0 Patterson, 1b 4 1 0

Bruneau, dh 3 2 2 0 Garland, rf 2 1 0

Anderson, 1b 4 2 3 2 Miller, lf 4 2 1

DiPietrantonio, 2b 3 1 1 2 McGinley, c 2 1

Zorio, rf 3 0 1 0 Biggers, cf 3 0 2

Totals 31 9 11 7 Totals 29 5 9 5

Castleton State 020 320 2 – 9

Husson 010 310 0 – 5

E- Bass; Patterson, Biggers; LOB- CSC 7, Husson 8; 2B- Bouck, Bruneau; Patterson, Biggers; SF- Bass; SB – Zorio, Bass

CSC IP H R ER BB SO

Cahill (W, 3-3) 5 8 5 5 4 4

Turner (S-1) 2 1 0 0 1 2

Husson IP H R ER BB SO

Nason (L, 1-2) 4 6 5 5 3 4

Pease 1 3 2 2 1 0

Adolphsen 1 0 0 0 0 0

Worster 1 2 2 0 1 1

WP- Cahill 2, Nason, Pease; Balk – Nason; T- 2:19; ATT- 75


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