BASEBALL: Jackets thump Castleton State 10-7
LONGVIEW – The heart of the LeTourneau batting order accounted for 10 of the team's 11 hits Wednesday as the YellowJackets defeated Castleton State (Vt.) 10-7.
Longview natives Caleb Pritchett (Longview, Texas/Pine Tree/Panola College) and Andrew Doerrfeld (Longview, Texas/Longview) – LeTourneau's Nos. 5 and 6 hitters – collected three RBIs apiece to lead the Jackets (3-2) to their third consecutive victory.
Doerrfeld picked up two of his three RBIs with a triple to deep left field in the bottom of the fifth inning that scored Pritchett and Nate Tomaszewski (Dove Canyon, Calif./Tesoro). The deep hit by Doerrfeld highlighted a five-run inning that began with the Jackets trailing by a score of 5-4.
Pritchett with 3-for-4 and scored a run. Doerrfeld went 2-for-2 and scored a run in the game.
Meanwhile, No. 3 hitter Chris Bertram (Friendswood, Texas/Baytown Christian) raised his batting average to .600 with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate Wednesday. Bertram drove in a run and scored three of his own. Tomaszewski went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored thrice from the cleanup position.
Ray Whitley (Dickinson, Texas/Dickinson) picked up his second relief win over the Spartans in four days, pitching 3 2/3 innings while giving up one run and scattering five hits.
Kirby Cantalamessa (Pearland, Texas/Home school) earned his third save in four days by slamming the door on a Castleton rally with two runners on base in the ninth inning. Cantalamessa induced Ryan Zielinski to pop up to centerfield, where Josh Francis (Henderson, Texas/Henderson) caught the out to seal the victory.
Castleton State (0-4) concluded their season-opening trip to Texas with their second appearance this week at Conrad-Vernon Field. The Spartans also dropped a pair of contests at Texas-Tyler this week.
The Jackets opened the game with a three-run first inning that featured back-to-back RBI singles from Tomaszewski and Pritchett.
Christian Baker (Liberty City, Texas/Sabine), Willie Bunker (Little River-Academy, Texas/Academy) and Jordan Price (Diana, Texas/New Diana) all pitched scoreless innings for the Jackets. Jeremy Burke (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) gave up two unearned runs over two-thirds of an inning.
The Jackets' win was also the first LeTourneau sports victory to be announced by the lighting of the University Bell Tower in "LETU Blue" lights. Immediately following the conclusion of the game, the Jackets and the approximately 150 fans in attendance went to the Bell Tower to commemorate the victory.
The Jackets return to action Friday when they host Texas Lutheran to open LeTourneau's first three-game series of the season. Friday's game is scheduled for 7 p.m., which will be followed by a doubleheader Saturday, set to begin at 1 p.m.