BANGOR, Maine — The Husson University Eagles received impressive performances from sophomore lefty Ryan Arsenault and freshman righty Nate Adams on Saturday, but Castleton State junior Ken Cook and senior Rob Turner pitched a tad better to earn 4-2 and 2-0 North Atlantic Conference wins.
Cook tossed a seven-hitter in the opener, striking out 11 and walking two while throwing 105 pitches, 68 for strikes. Arsenault hurled a six-hitter with five strikeouts, three walks and 64 strikes among 100 pitches.
In the nightcap, Turner fired a two-hitter and allowed just four balls to leave the infield. He fanned five and issued just one walk. He threw 114 pitches, of which 75 were strikes.
“Everything was working today, my fastball, curve and changeup,” said Turner.
“He pounded the strike zone pretty well and mixed up his pitches well to keep us off-balance,” said Husson catcher Nick Arthers of Belfast.
Frankfort’s Adams scattered five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. He threw 97 pitches, 66 of which were strikes.
Husson went 2-for-11 with men on base in the opener and 1-for-11 in the nightcap.
“They got the hits when they needed them and we didn’t,” said Husson freshman left fielder Kyle Vanidestine.
Cook called his first-game performance “one of the best wins of my career.”
“My two-seamer [fastball] and curve were working. This was big. They’re a tough team,” said Cook.
“He had good pop on his fastball and kept us off-balance with his curve,” said Husson right fielder Jeff Miller.
The offensive star for Castleton State was junior third baseman Billy Manley.
Manley, who had one RBI in nine games entering the series, belted a two-run single in the opener and drove in the winning run in the nightcap with a first-inning double.
“We had a serious practice the other day and I got some work in. Luckily, it came out good today,” said Manley.
His bases-loaded single in the fifth inning of the opener made it 4-1 as he pulled an Arsenault curve sharply into left field.
“He had thrown me curves and offspeed stuff all day. I saw the spin and took a good swing at it,” said Manley, who followed singles by Kyle Brooks and Dan Conley and a walk.
A run-producing infield error in the second and Garrett Bissonnette’s two-out RBI single in the third had staked the Spartans to a 2-0 lead. Husson scored in the bottom of the third on Ethan Guerette’s double to right and Arthers’ single.
Husson mounted a two-out rally in the seventh, but could only score once on Chris Maguire’s RBI single.
In the second game, Manley’s two-out double off the left field fence scored Brooks from second with the winning run. Brooks had singled.
“It was a curve that was supposed to be inside, but I got it out over the plate,” said Adams.
Aaron Zrenda’s first-pitch two-out line drive single to left made it 2-0 in the sixth.
“[Adams] had just walked a guy, so I figured he’d want to come in with a first-pitch strike. And I didn’t want to fall behind in the count like I had all day. I was looking for something to drive. He threw me an inside fastball,” said Zrenda.
Husson had the bases loaded with two outs in the fifth but Vanidestine grounded to short.
“I just [barely] missed it,” said Vanidestine.