CASTLETON, Vt. - Whoever said Vermont isn't much of a baseball state hasn't seen the Castleton Spartans
Vergennes native and Castleton senior pitcher Devin Hayes says, "We play this game probably a couple months out of the year where other sports you play year round. It's awesome just to get baseball talent in Vermont and have all these guys from Vermont."
Fifteen Vermonters to be exact. That's more than Norwich, Middlebury, St. Michael's and St. Joseph combined.
Davis Mikell, a freshman out of CVU adds, "A lot of us come from Vermont. We have similar backgrounds and we've taken that in stride and we've all become very good friends."
For Castleton's fifteen Vermont natives, part of the allure of the program is right here at Spartan Field. In years past, this area has hosted the Vermont American Legion baseball championships, and many of the players have already won titles here.
Davis Mikell says, "That was definitely pretty cool. That was kind of the start of when I realized something down here might work."
A 2014 American Legion Champion with Essex, Davis Mikell might have that memory to thank for his decision to transfer after a year at Southern New Hampshire. Now he's become a league power, in just about every aspect of the game!
Castleton head coach Ted Shipley remarks, "He's multifaceted. You know, he can pitch, he can hit. He's smart, he knows the game. When he's prepared to play, you know, there's few as good as him."
With a chance to set Spartan records in both home runs and ERA, Mikell is having more fun than ever before. Former opponents have become friends, and he's even had a chance to play against his brother Sam, who's a Freshman at Union. Now it's time for business, as Castleton preps for the postseason.
Shipley says, "The goal is to be playing our best baseball as we enter the end of April into May. We're not quite there yet. So we want to try to get that righted before we head into something because if we're gonna go somewhere we want to be prepared for it."
Now it's tournament time in Rutland County. This year, the pride of Vermont baseball is knocking on the door of history.
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