SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Having received an Athlete of the Week selection by the Union County Conference a day earlier, Dayton senior pitcher Joe Kastner proved Wednesday he was worthy of the honor.

Kastner allowed five hits over 6 1/3 innings with two earned runs and a season-high 11 strikeouts en route to his fourth win of the season and senior Matthew Pavick went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, and four RBI to propel Dayton to an 8-4 victory over Linden in Springfield.

“I thought I threw decent today. It was one of the first times one of the teams I went up against could catch up to my fastball, so the second time around I would work on my off-speed pitches,”  said Kastner, who has recorded 21 strikeouts in his last two games. “No matter who we play we all know we have to give 100 percent to get better. Everyone just has to go out there and perform at a high level so we can become better individually and as a team.”

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Senior Anthony Monguso had two hits, including a triple, with two runs scored and junior Adam Wuest had three runs scored for Dayton (7-0), which ended its five-game home stand at 5-0 and is off to its best start since an eight-game win streak to start the 2014 season.

Kastner had an RBI-single, junior William Hodic contributed two singles, and Pavick closed the game for with five straight outs to secure the win.

“Joe has been throwing a lot of strikes this year, which has allowed his pitch count to stay low, and he has been putting pressure on the other team to put the ball in play or he has been getting them out himself,” said Dayton head coach Michael Abbate. “I’m really proud of his control and his ability to work all his pitches this year. He has been stepping up with the senior leadership we needed. Matthew (Pavick) has also stepped up in relief for us, recording some big outs and he is really having good at bats in key situations for us at the plate.”

Dayton hits the road for the first time since April 11th when it again meets Linden in Linden to end its home-and-home series on Saturday morning at 11 a.m and will visit Rahway in a make-up game on Monday at 4 p.m.

Bulldog Bits: Kastner, who will be continuing his education and baseball career at FDU-Florham Park this fall, was selected Tuesday as one of last week’s Union County Conference Athletes of the Week for April 10-16 … The Union County Tournament seeding meeting is set for Monday … Wuest has eight stolen bases and 14 runs scored in seven games … Pavick leads the team in RBI (15) and total hits (17) … Junior Jeffrey Carrier has the lone home run on the team.