NAC Baseball Weekly Honors (Week Ending April 30)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Josh Rylant, Castleton
(Jr., INF - Colchester, Vt.)
Rylant, after seeing limited playing time throughout the season, stepped in and made an immediate impact this past week, as the Spartans went 7-1 on the week. The junior batted .421 (8-for-19) with four runs scored, three doubles, two RBI, and two stolen bases. He enjoyed three multi-hit performances, including a 3-for-3 effort with three runs scored in a 6-1 win at Husson. Rylant then provided the heroics in back-to-back games at Husson with the go-ahead hit in the seventh inning. In a 1-1 game in the final frame of Saturday's nightcap, Rylant drilled an RBI single up the middle to help lead the Spartans to a 2-1 victory. The following game was scoreless entering the seventh inning, as he scored the go-ahead run all the way from first on an RBI double to help lead the Spartans to a 1-0 victory. He finished the series 7-for-12 with three runs scored, two doubles, two RBI, and two stolen bases.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Devin Hayes, Castleton
(Sr., P - Vergennes, Vt.)
Hayes enjoyed his best week of the season on the mound for Castleton, pitching his team to victory with two complete game shutouts. The senior struck out 11 and allowed just seven hits over 14.0 scoreless innings pitched to improve his record to 6-1 and lower his ERA to 1.65 for the year. Hayes faced tough competition on the road and he rose to the occasion when his team needed him the most. In a 2-0 win at Lyndon, Hayes struck out five and walked just one while allowing five hits over 7.0 innings. He stranded the bases loaded in the seventh with a game-ending strikeout to preserve the shutout victory. Hayes backed that performance up with another stellar outing in a 1-0 win at Husson. With the game still scoreless in the sixth, he stranded the go-ahead run on third with a pivotal strikeout. After Castleton plated the game's only run in the top of the seventh, Hayes fired a 1-2-3 bottom half to complete the shutout. He faced just 23 batters in the game, striking out six, walking none, and allowing three hits in an 82-pitch complete game.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Davis Mikell, Castleton
(Fr., P/1B - Williston, Vt.)
Mikell enjoyed two stellar pitching performances on the week to improve his record to 5-1 and lower his earned run average to 0.92 for the year. The freshman struck out 17 batters in 12.0 innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on nine hits with two walks. Mikell struck out seven and allowed one earned run on six hits over 5.0 innings in a win over Lyndon, before capping off the week with arguably his best performance of the season. He pitched a complete game shutout in a 1-0 victory over Husson, matching his career high with 10 strikeouts, while allowing just three hits and one walk over 7.0 scoreless innings.
AROUND THE NAC
Castleton went 7-1 on the week to secure first place in the NAC with an overall record of 21-3 in league play. The Spartans took three out of four games in a home-and-home series with Lyndon, before wrapping up their NAC regular season with a four-game sweep at Husson. Devin Hayes pitched two complete game shutouts to improve to 6-1 on the season, while Josh Rylant batted .421 (8-for-19) with two RBI -- both of which scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of back-to-back one-run victories over Husson. The Spartans wrapped up their regular season 30-7 overall and await the NAC Championship tournament.
Colby-Sawyer will look to rebound after a tough week in NAC action with an important doubleheader on Tuesday against intrastate rival New England College. Each team will be playing for a postseason berth.
UMaine-Farmington went 2-8 on the week.
Husson had a rough weekend with back-to-back doubleheaders against Castleton. In four games, the Eagles just barely fell by one run in three of the games while only giving up 10 runs on the week.
Lyndon finished the week 4-4. The Hornets started their week on Tuesday by hosting Castleton, dropping the first game 2-0 and the second 7-2. The next day they split with UMaine-Farmington, taking a 5-2 loss and then turning it around for a 2-1 win. The Hornets traveled to Castleton on Thursday where they fell 8-1, but then squashed hopes of a series sweep by grasping a 5-4 victory. On Friday and Sunday, the Hornets picked up two non-conference wins over Daniel Webster and MCLA, 10-2 and 5-0 in single game action. Lyndon hosts UMaine-Farmington on Monday to finish off conference play and then travels to Plymouth on Wednesday to finish off their regular season schedule.
New England College went 6-0 on the week, sweeping Colby-Sawyer on Monday before claiming a four-game series sweep of UMaine-Farmington over the weekend. Evan Delaney had four homeruns on the week and is now the conference leader in batting average, RBI, homeruns, and steals. Vincent Backert went 2-0 in starts on the week. NEC concludes the regular season on Tuesday in a mid-morning doubleheader at Colby-Sawyer.
Thomas wrapped up the 2017 season this past week going 4-2-1. On Tuesday, the Terriers battled non-conference rival Colby College into the 12th inning where the game was ended in a 2-2 tie. Thomas traveled to UMaine Farmington on Thursday as the two teams split a doubleheader with the Beavers taking game one 10-6 and the Terriers taking game two 2-0. Over the weekend, the Terriers took three games of a four-game series against Colby-Sawyer. The Chargers took the first game 8-0 while the Terriers were victorious in the final three, 6-5, 7-3, and 2-1.