Quick bats give Bears the edge
Bowdoin's Baseball Team is on a hot streak.
This week, they took two wins from St. Joseph's and UMaine Farmington. The Bears routed St. Joseph's on Tuesday 18-7. The run support came thanks to 22 hits and five home runs tallied by Bowdoin.
Jared Lemieux '06 bombed two while Tom McMahon '05, Kevin Bougie '04, and the wingman Justin King '04 each helped with one.
The next afternoon, the Bears took care of UMaine Farmington in a 7-2 victory. Erik Morrison '06 pitched seven innings of scoreless, three hit ball as the Bears cruised to their 11th win of the season.
As is Spring Break tradition, the team kicked off its season in Florida. The trip was positive overall, as Bowdoin headed back north boasting a record of 7-3.
Bowdoin saw great pitching performances from its one and two starters Powers and Bulger. Also stepping up on the mound was Ricky Leclerc '06 and Andy Workman '04. The defense began to click behind the pitching as well.
As was expected, the bats were hot for Bowdoin. The team averaged close to eight runs per game.
The weekend the Bears returned was an important one as the team traveled to Connecticut for a three-game stint against NESCAC East powerhouse Trinity College, which was ranked fifth in the nation before last weekend.
The Bears were carried by outfielder T.J. McLeod '04, who tallied seven hits in the first two games. For his strong offensive performance, he was named last week's NESCAC Player of the Week.
Bowdoin took two of three from Trinity. Strong pitching from senior Drew Nichols and Leclerc held Trinity's strong bats at bay as the offense continued for Bowdoin. As a whole, Bowdoin is off to a blazing start. It holds the top spot in the NESCAC East rankings and hopes to continue its streak this weekend when in-state rival Colby arrives on Saturday for a double-header.
The team looks to build on the foundation that was laid last season when it ended with a 17 -15 record, the most wins Bowdoin has put up since the expansion of games played in the mid-80s.
The 2003 season was defined by up-and-coming talented youth, both on the mound and at the plate. This year, last season's first years are a season stronger and wiser. Last season, the team relied on their junior-heavy team status, but these juniors are now seniors, and they are looking to rewrite the record books.
There have been few key losses for the team. Pitchers Jared Porter and Scott Burochow both saw limited innings as relievers; however, both Porter and Burochow boasted impressive ERAs: 2.08 and 3.24, respectively.
A surprising loss to the team came when shortstop Jimmy Shea '05 did not return to Bowdoin this spring semester. Shea hit .423 last season and led the team in on-base percentage and stolen bases.
There are also many key returners for the Polar Bears this year. Two year captain Bougie returns in the infield as well as first baseman McMahon, who led the team in batting average and RBIs.
Once first-year sensations and now sophomore stalwarts, Trevor Powers and Marc Bulger are likely to fill the one and two spots in the pitching rotation for weekend league games.
Overall, the Polar Bears return a senior-laden squad. The players that contributed to the offensive firepower that helped the team climb over .500 last season remain intact.
Traditional league powerhouses Trinity and Tufts graduated many key contributors, which makes Bowdoin's chances for ascending in the rankings quite realistic. Expect Bougie and a slew of senior positional players to carry the team to breaking the 17-win mark and move above Trinity and Tufts in league rankings.
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