College Baseball Final – Guilford 7, Castleton 6

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Andrew Brann’s two-out RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted Guilford College to a Thursday afternoon victory over Castleton University, 7-6, in the Quakers’ opening home contest.

Two-out production dominated the afternoon on both sides as nine of the game’s 14 runs were brought home with two outs in the inning. Castleton struck first to open the contest with three runs in a two-hit half-inning where a throwing error elongated the frame, but Chase Mitchell froze Mitchell Caron at home plate to retire the Spartans in the top of the first inning. Guilford responded in the bottom of the second frame, an inning lengthened by an error after a two-out Rocco Wilcox single, that brought in two runs to give the Quakers the lead. After the Spartans nodded the game, 3-3, in the top of the third frame, Jacob Roberts fired a double down the left field line with one out to re-establish the lead.

Both sides traded runs in the middle innings, but Castleton rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning when Caron singled with one-out and Nick Patierne grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning with the runner already across home plate before the out to claim a one-run lead. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Quakers scored the game-winning run thanks to Roberts’ base-running throughout the inning. After reaching on an error to lead off the frame, he stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, setting the table for Brann to provide a clutch RBI-single up the middle. The Spartans responded with two singles in the early stage of the top of the ninth inning, but John Todd settled down to strike out the final two batters to seal the victory.

Wilcox finished two-for-four with one RBI while Brann also finished two-for-four at the plate to represent the two Quakers’ bats with multi-hit afternoons. Josh Shepherd swiped two bases in his one-of-three afternoon with a RBI-double. Guilford’s offense took advantage of six Castleton errors only two of the seven Guilford runs were earned.

Nick Swim hit five-for-five with a triple to lead the Spartans at the plate. Jim Buckley finished three-for-four with two RBI while Dan Errico finished two-for-three while driving in two runs.

Andrew Martin (1-0) earned the win for the Quakers as Guilford used a significant portion of their pitching staff on the afternoon. Martin threw a scoreless eighth inning, striking out one. Todd earned his first save of the season in a scoreless ninth-inning effort.

Devin Hayes (1-0) took the loss for Castleton in a six-inning effort where he gave up two earned runs on six hits while striking out two batters and walking five. Ethan Hanson (0-1) took the loss, giving up one unearned run on one hit while walking one batter in the final two innings.

The Quakers (3-3) continue their opening home slate Saturday, hosting Bluefield State College for a 2 p.m. contest.

        SCORE BY INNINGS    R  H  E
Castleton 2 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 6 14 6
Guilford  0 3 0 2 0 1 0 1 X 7  7 2

Castleton: Batters Faced – Devin Hayes 32; Ethan Hanson 9. HBP – Devin Hayes.

Guilford: Batters Faced – Chase Mitchell 9; Caleb Gaster 6; Nick Blackwood 8; Joe LeNoir 5; Chase Shuford 7; Andrew Martin 3; John Todd 5.

HBP – Caleb Gaster.

Start: 2:30 pm Duration: 2:30 Attendance: 75

Weather: sunny, cool