The men's baseball team finished 3-3 after playing against NESCAC East rival Colby and non-conference Roger Williams and Brandeis over the last week.
Over the six games, the team raised its in-game record for defensive errors from four to seven, compiling 18 defensive miscues in total. Before last weekend, the Polar Bears had been averaging around one and a half errors per game; that average has doubled in the past seven days.
"The reality is that we are going to have to clean up that part of the game," Head Coach Mike Connolly said. "If we play that way down the stretch, our season's going to be over on the first weekend of May. You can't play baseball that way—it doesn't matter whether it's Little League, whether it's high school, whether it's college, or whether it's professional."
In the first game against Colby on Friday, Oliver Van Zant '13 contributed one of his most efficient performances. He pitched all nine innings against the Mules, struck out 11 batters, and allowed just two hits, a run and a walk—only a week after he allowed six earned runs in the third inning against Trinity before being relieved. His 11 strikeouts match his personal record as a Polar Bear, which he also reached once as a first year and once as a sophomore. He extends his record as a starting pitcher to 4-1.
"I think that speaks to his character and his competitiveness, that he wasn't happy with his performance the week before," Connolly said. "Certainly he wanted to get back out there as quickly as possible to a) help the team win, and b) get himself back on track."
Although the team had a slow start, errors and pitching mishaps from Colby allowed Bowdoin to make it 4-1 before Buddy Shea '15 opened up the five-inning hitting drought with a single.
In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, Tim Welch '12 held Colby to just two runs on five hits before he was relieved in the middle of the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, Colby scored three unearned runs aided by three Polar Bear errors to move ahead to 5-3. Coming from behind, Chris Cameron '15, John Lefeber '14 and Jordan Edgett '12 all scored in the bottom of the inning to surpass the Mules and win the game.
Runs scored on errors by Colby in the second game proved more difficult for Bowdoin to overcome. Although the first three did not lead to runs for the Mules, the four defensive mishaps in the fifth and sixth inning contributed to at least three runs. Bowdoin lost by two in the end, unable to beat Colby's closers.
"We just couldn't get over the hump in that last game; we made the game too hard," Connolly said about the late loss. "You certainly have to learn how to win games like that. You never want to consistently put yourself in a situation where you always have to come back because you didn't play well up to that point."
On Sunday, Bowdoin played Roger Williams at home, and faced many of the same problems as it did against Colby. In the first game, Bowdoin compiled five errors, but only one led to a run. With the game tied going into the first extra inning, Roger Williams scored two runs that Bowdoin failed to answer. The Polar Bears were out-hit 12-8 across those eight innings.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Bowdoin got ahead to 3-1 by the fourth inning, and held onto its lead. The Polar Bears committed just two errors in the game, the lowest since Friday. Only one of them ended in a Roger Williams run.
Against Brandeis on Wednesday, Bowdoin punched out 15 hits to the Judges' 14, but were outscored 14-7. After starting pitcher Jesse Abels '14 labored through four innings, three more hurlers combined to give up eight runs in an inning and two-thirds. Although Kevin McDonough '14 salvaged the final few frames with 2.1 scoreless innings, it was not enough.
The team had an overall successful week, and maintained a crucial 5-4 record in the NESCAC East. Tufts, who Bowdoin will play today, is 4-5 in the conference—just two games behind Bowdoin (18-14, 5-4 NESCAC) in the fight for the final playoff spot.
The Jumbos are on a seven-game winning streak, and their last two losses came to, of all teams, Colby. They have also gone three straight games without committing an error, and produce less than one per game (.89) compared to Bowdoin's new average of close to two (1.81).
"The team that wins the series is in; the team that loses is out," said Connolly. "It doesn't get any simpler or clearer than it is this weekend."