HARWICH, Mass. – The Spartans gave up two runs in the eighth inning and couldn't muster any offense in extra innings as Ramapo eventually came through with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to secure a 4-3 victory in Castleton's first game of the NCAA Tournament at Whitehouse Field on Wednesday evening.
In the bottom of the 11th with two outs and a runner on second, Rob DE Angelis flipped a soft single to left field andMike Ferro's nearly gunned the runner out at home with a great throw, but it was just late as the Roadrunners earned the walk-off win.
The Spartans left a runner on base in the 9th, 10th and 11th innings and nine overall as they saw their upset bid fall short as the No. 6 seed in the New England Regional. Castleton finished with ten hits to 13 for the Roadrunners, though the No. 3 seed managed just two extra base hits.
Starter Devin Hayes earned the no decision after giving up three runs in 7.1 innings while walking two and striking out five. Michael LaBeau was saddled with the loss after giving up one run in 2.2 innings of work with a pair of strikeouts. Dan Errico provided the offense with a three-run homer while Nick Swim and Taylor Vile each had two hits and scored.
Ramapo's Walker Larson went 10.0 innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out eight and walking a pair. Brian Cottrell earned the win with 1.0 inning of work and one strikeout. Joe Venturino went 4-for-5 with one run and an RBI.
After the Spartans went down in the top of the first, the Roadrunners got on the board in the bottom of the frame. DeAngelis led off with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. He scampered to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on a single up the middle for the 1-0 advantage.
Castleton threatened the next inning as Nate Swahn reached on a one-out walk. Jim Buckley advanced him to third with a single and then stole second, but the two were stranded following a strikeout and flyout.
The Spartans finally broke through in a big way in the top of the sixth. Vile singled with one out and Swim followed with a single through the left side, bringing up Errico. The junior was down 0-2 but fought off a number of pitches before cranking a ball over the left field fence to put Castleton in front 3-1.
In the bottom of the frame, back-to-back one-out singles had Ramapo in business. Hayes struck out the next batter swinging, but a threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance. A walk loaded the bases, but the sophomore induced a flyout to get out of trouble.
The Roadrunners tied up the game in the eighth inning with a pair of runs. Following a leadoff single, Venturino ripped a double to the left-center gap, to put runners on second and third. LeBeau relieved Hayes and promptly struck out the next batter for the second out. However, Peschiani came through with a single to right field and Tyler Hoare's throw to the plate was just late as Venturino avoided the tag his slide. Walsh reached on a fielder's choice and Dela Cruz followed with a single to left but Aaron Smith threw out the runner at home on a one-hopper to Swahn, who got the tag down in time.
Neither team could score in the ninth but the Spartans did threaten in the top of the 11th as Hoare ripped a ball to center for a double. However, he was stranded as a strikeout and groundout ended the frame.
In the bottom of the 11th, LeBeau was relieved for Ethan Hanson after giving up a leadoff single. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner but Hanson recorded a strikeout for the second out. DeAngelis then ended the game with his RBI single.
The Spartans drop to 31-11 with the loss while Ramapo improves to 29-14 overall. Castleton will face the loser of the 8:15 pm game between No. 2 Wesleyan and No. 7 Curry.