After playing 13 games in 11 days, the baseball team returned from its annual trip to Florida on March 20 with a 5-8 record. The trip was defined by three distinct stretches. The team went 1-4 in its first five games. It then seemed to find its form, going 4-1 over a four-day stretch before dropping its last three games in Florida.

“In the middle games we started to hit our stride and we got used to playing outside,” Captain Aaron Rosen ’15 said. “Guys were getting healthier and things were starting to pick up, but then by the end of the trip things started to drag a little. Thirteen games in 11 days is a lot, so there’s an expected drop in energy level.”

“I hate to make excuses,” he continued, “but when we got down there we hadn’t even practiced on an actual baseball field yet. We also lost a couple of key guys due to injuries in the first couple games so we were battling from the start.”

Despite the difficulties in the early games, Rosen said that younger players did a great job stepping in for injured players. 

“Guys who really weren’t expected to play have filled in and done a great job,” he said. “Evann Dumont-Lapointe ’17 and Nick Sadler ’18 have been awesome, and so have a bunch of other guys. It’s kind of been a seamless transition.”

Over the course of the 13 games, first baseman Chad Martin ’16 batted .340 with a team-leading 15 RBIs and three home runs. Third baseman Cole DiRoberto ’15 hit .367, infielder Sean Mullaney ’17 hit .378, and Rosen—who plays shortstop—hit .375 with two home runs.

On the mound, captain Henry Van Zant ’15 went 1-1 with 20 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched and passed a 2.57 ERA. Michael Staes ’16 went 1-0 in two starts with a 1.64 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10 innings. Harry Ridge ’16 went 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts, and captain Erik Jacobsen ’15 went 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA.

One of the highlights of the trip was Bowdoin’s 5-1 win over Endicott on March 16. Harry Ridge ’16 pitched six shutout innings against the Gulls, who have gone to the NCAA Regional Championship and won over thirty games in each of the last two seasons. The last time the two teams played, Endicott won 11-3.

“They’re a phenomenal team,” Rosen said. “They always play us tough and usually beat us, but Harry went out there and just shut them down. I think in general there were a lot of games where we didn’t roll over and die. We came up with a lot of late rallies, and I think that just speaks to the character of the team overall.”

Bowdoin has always placed a strong emphasis on pitching, though Rosen says that the hitters this year are better than in years past. This was evident in offensive onslaughts in victories against Roger Williams (18-3) and Babson (16-9). Against Roger Williams, Martin went 5-5 with seven RBI, and four extra base hits including two home runs.

“It’s weird because this is the worst record at this point in the seasonin my four years here,” Rosen said, “but I’m 100 percent confident that this is the best team we have had talent-wise.”

The Polar bears will look to get their season back on track in a three game series against Tufts this weekend at the New England Baseball Complex in Northboro, Mass.