HAMPTON, Va. – The Tufts University baseball team earned the 700th win of head coach John Casey's career with an 8-4 victory over Castleton University in the Jumbos' 2018 season-opener on Friday afternoon at War Memorial Stadium.
|R.J. Hall earned the opening day start and victory|
It took the Jumbos a while to get going, as they trailed 2-0 through five and a half innings. However, they broke through with eight runs in the sixth to build a comfortable margin. A two-run single by senior 1B Nick Falkson and a two-run home run by junior catcher Harrison Frickman helped the Jumbos pull ahead. Junior starter R.J. Hall went six innings allowing eight hits and two runs for the win.
Casey becomes the 17th active Division III coach and 35th all-time to reach the 700 wins milestone. He is one of two active New England coaches to have that many and is the sixth all-time in New England Division III to reach the mark. In his 35th season leading the Jumbo program, he now has a 700-305-5 record (.696).
Castleton scored in its first at-bat as leadoff man Matt Braman singled, stole second and then scored on a triple by Jonathan Lindau. The Spartans added a run in the top of the fifth as Deagan Poland singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Lindau's single.
Meanwhile, Spartan starter Davis Mikell held the Jumbos scoreless through five innings allowing just one hit. He had retired 11 in a row before the Jumbos got to him in the sixth.
Tufts had seven hits and benefitted from two Castleton errors while sending 12 men to the plate in their eight-run sixth. Junior SS Will Shackelford, who led off the inning with a base hit, scored twice in the frame. Falkson's two-run single to left put Tufts up 3-2. Senior pinch-hitter Malcolm Nachmanoff delivered an rbi double preceding Frickman's two-run shot to center. Senior CF Casey Santos-Ocampo capped the inning with a double scoring Shackelford.
The Spartans added single runs in the eighth and ninth off Jumbo relievers Kevin Galasso and Ian Kinney. Castleton's Mitch Caron led off the eighth with a single and scored on a sac fly by Steven Walsh. Mikell walked and scored on Caron's double in the ninth.
Santos-Ocampo had two hits with a run and an rbi at the top of Tufts' order. Sophomore DH Ryan Day also recorded two hits as the Jumbos finished with eight total.
Castleton's 12 hits included two by Braman, Poland, Lindau, Caron and Alex Borsari. The Spartans, playing their ninth game of the spring, dropped to 4-5.
Tufts will be back to War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Virginia tomorrow for a single game versus Marymount at 4 p.m. Castleton heads home and will play next at Bard on March 24.