Two early season victories over Trinity College set up the baseball team for a playoff push, and this weekend's series against the Bates Bobcats will decide whether or not the Polar Bears will make the NESCAC playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The Polar Bears are now tied with Trinity in the NESCAC loss column, with each team having five losses apiece. Thanks to its series victory, Bowdoin owns the tiebreaker.

Trinity has one NESCAC game remaining against Tufts, while Bowdoin has this weekend's three-game set against Bates.

If the Polar Bears are able to sweep the Bobcats, Bowdoin will make the playoffs. If Trinity loses its one remaining game, Bowdoin only needs to win two out of its three games.

Bowdoin managed to keep its playoff hopes alive despite losing last weekend's home series against Tufts.

Tufts' Kevin Gilchrist silenced the Bowdoin bats in game one with a dominant complete game shutout.

The Jumbos ace pitched very well, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Brendan Garner '11 launched a double to left-center for Bowdoin's only hit of the afternoon. Tufts won comfortably 5-0.

In game two, the Jumbos prevailed 7-5. Tufts pushed the deciding run across the plate in the sixth inning of the seven-inning game with back-to-back doubles and an RBI groundout.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Jumbos were able to turn a critical double play to end the Polar Bears' final threat following a leadoff walk by first year Danny Findley.

Junior third baseman Brett Gorman led the way for Bowdoin's offense with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Entering the third game of the series, the Polar Bears were riding a five game losing streak and sat at the precipice of playoff elimination.

With the season on the line, senior Carter Butland spun a gem on the mound for Bowdoin, allowing zero earned runs in eight strong innings.

Butland received plenty of run support from the offense, as the sleepy Bowdoin bats finally came to life. Juniors Joe Comizio, Matt Ruane and Adam Marquit each launched home runs for the Polar Bears.

"We knew we had to win to stay alive," Marquit said, "and winning big makes things a lot easier."

Bowdoin cruised to a 12-4 victory.

On a cold and rainy Wednesday, Bowdoin lost a barnburner to Brandeis 17-15. However, the shorthanded Polar Bears continued their newfound offensive production.

The top-five spots in the batting order contributed 9 RBIs and 15 hits. Faulty pitching and defense late in the game cost Bowdoin the game, as Brandeis took the lead by scoring nine runs in the eighth inning on only three hits.

Asked if he hoped to carry Bowdoin's recent offensive surge into the weekend, Head Coach Michael Connolly said with a smile, "That's the plan."

The Polar Bears will certainly need it; Bates' pitching staff boasts the second lowest ERA in the NESCAC.

The Bobcats also bring a newfound swagger to the weekend series, as they have set a program record for wins this season with 22 and are currently riding an eight-game winning streak.

"I've spoken with Casey and Plummer (Tufts' and Colby's coaches, respectively), and they both said that Bates thinks they can beat anybody right now," Connolly said.

The start of the series coincides with the beginning of Ivies, with the first game at Bowdoin on Friday afternoon. The Polar Bears then head to Bates for a Saturday double header.