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Bowdoin baseball splits series with Middlebury and looks to east division competition

April 7, 2023

Courtesy of Brian Beard
IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE: Stephen Simoes ’23 hits the ball for Bowdoin. The baseball team is preparing for its first east division game this weekend against Trinity College after splitting its series against Middlebury.

The baseball team (9–5; 0–0 NESCAC) split a doubleheader against reigning NESCAC champs Middlebury College (11–4; 0–0 NESCAC) last weekend. Due to weather and field conditions, the teams met at University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston on Sunday. Bowdoin lost the first game 1–0, but rebounded in the next game for a 4-0 win. The Polar Bears went on to defeat University of Maine Farmington (3–13) on Tuesday night and are preparing for a big weekend of conference play.

This weekend marked baseball’s first competition against another NESCAC school. However, since NESCAC baseball is split into east and west divisions, Middlebury is a non-conference opponent and does not affect Bowdon’s playoff standings.

“I think [the team was] just really happy to get this game in, and it is always fun to play a NESCAC team, even if they aren’t in our division. It is just great competition and still a rivalry,” captain Jason Bogdanos ’24 said.

Bowdoin was proud of how it bounced back after the first game.

“Our response has been really good this season in these kinds of situations,” Bogdanos said. “In any sport, but especially in baseball, any given day, anybody could beat anybody. When we put our heads down and work hard—every pitch, every play, empty the tank—I don’t see a team that could beat us.”

Jack Olcott ’22 added that the win also helped the team gain confidence heading forward.

“The first game was kind of a heartbreaker. We just faced a good arm, but showing in the second game that we could beat the NESCAC champs was really good momentum for us,” Olcott said. “It was a good win to show us what we are capable of.”

Bowdoin was also excited for the chance to play after experiencing many scheduling changes due to weather. Originally, Bowdoin was supposed to host Middlebury College for three games, but soggy field conditions switched the location to Colby College’s turf field. Rain on Saturday and a cold windchill forecasted for Sunday threatened this plan, so Head Coach Mike Connolly put out about twenty inquiries to other colleges and high schools in Massachusetts about field availability. On Saturday afternoon, UMass Boston confirmed the teams could use their field the following day.

“We were all waiting by our phones, waiting for that email, and once we got it, it was really exciting,” Bogdanos said. “Playing in Maine, we accept that the weather is going to be crazy, and it is going to be an up and down schedule where you may not know if you are going to play a game the day before, which just takes a lot of discipline and grittiness to play up here.”

Bogdanos also emphasized Bowdoin’s focus on controlling what it can and staying mentally tough, part of which includes being optimistic about wherever it ends up playing.

“I was pretty excited to play at UMass Boston, only because the field is an exact replica of Fenway. They have the Green Monster. It is a big league park, and that’s pretty cool,” Olcott said.

Following the doubleheader, Bowdoin defeated UMaine Farmington 11–0 on Tuesday in its home-opener. The Polar Bears were led by Stephen Simoes ’23, Kevin Murray ’25 and Luke Chessie ’23, who each had two hits in the shutout. .

Getting in extra games before facing more NESCAC teams has been beneficial for Bowdoin.

“It has been nice to get a lot of games under our belt before conference play and be able to have a lot of confidence in ourselves coming into those big series that will determine the playoff standings,” Bogdanos said.

This weekend, Bowdoin has a doubleheader against Trinity College (12–5; 2–1 NESCAC), its first east division conference opponent.

“We are excited for Trinity. They are always a tough battle,” Olcott said. “That will be a good test for us.”

The Polar Bears will play the Bantams today and tomorrow at the Pickard Baseball Diamond.


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