DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Sophomore Tucker Hetherman (Webster, Mass.) tossed a two-hitter and struck out eight over six innings of work, as UMass Dartmouth notched a 3-1 victory over Castleton to gain a split of a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Friday afternoon at the UMD Baseball Field. The Spartans received seven strong innings on the mound from senior Joe Gratton (Pittsfield, Mass.) in the opener to triumph by that same 3-1 margin.
The host Corsairs (11-14, 5-5 LEC) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in their first at-bat of the nightcap on junior Nate Tellier’s (Attleboro, Mass.) sacrifice fly, but the visiting Spartans (12-14, 4-4 LEC) evened matters in the bottom of the first on junior Davis Mikell’s (Williston, Vt.) RBI groundout. UMass Dartmouth took the lead for good in the fourth when junior Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) plated freshman Jon Candiales (Attleboro, Mass.) with a run-scoring double, and that score held up until the eighth when Tellier belted a solo homer (his first of the season) to provide an insurance tally and account for the final margin.
Hetherman took care of the rest on the hill for the hosts, as he overcame four walks to allowed an unearned run and improve to 3-1 on the spring. Tellier tossed two scoreless frames to pick up his third save of the year for the Corsairs, who received two hits off the bat of junior Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.). Senior Pat Mumford (Fairbanks, Ak.) collected two of Castleton’s four second game hits, as junior Garrett Moran (Killingworth, Conn.) allowed six hits and struck out three over 6 1/3 frames to fall to 3-1 on the season.
UMass Dartmouth jumped out to a 1-0 second inning lead in the opener on Baker’s RBI single up the middle, but Castleton took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame on an error and a run-scoring groundout off the bat of junior John Stewart III (Granville, N.Y.). The Spartans extended that margin to 3-1 in the third on senior Dillon Benham’s (Lenox, Mass.) RBI single up the middle, and that proved to be the final run of the lid-lifter thanks to a combined effort on the mound from Gratton and sophomore Andy Kenosh (Rutland, Vt.).
Benham, Mikell and sophomore Josh Ferro (Queens, N.Y.) each rapped out two hits as part of a seven-hit attack in the opener for Castleton, as Gratton struck out eight over seven innings of work to improve to 4-2 on the season. Kenosh worked a pair of scoreless frames to earn his second save of the year for the Spartans, as he left the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth. Knell and senior Chris Wood (Berkley, Mass.) had two hits each as part of an eight-hit performance in the lid-lifter for UMass Dartmouth, as senior All-America Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) went the distance on the mound for the Corsairs in allowing three unearned runs and fanning three to fall to 2-3 on the spring.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Medford, Mass. on Monday afternoon to take on Tufts in a non-league doubleheader beginning at 12:30 pm, while Castleton travels to Plymouth, N.H. on Tuesday afternoon to square off with Plymouth State in a Little East Conference clash that begins at 3:30 pm.