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Baseball team prepares for busy week of NESCAC play following wins against Bates and Tufts

April 19, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
TRIPLE THREAT: The baseball team won against Bates College and Tufts University last weekend and will compete in several games this week ahead of NESCAC quarterfinals beginning on May 4.

Last weekend, the baseball team (13–11; 2–2 NESCAC) picked up a pair of wins against Bates College (11–10; 2–5 NESCAC) and Tufts University (13–14; 4–5 NESCAC), defeating the Bobcats and Jumbos by five and four runs, respectively. Over the next ten days, Bowdoin will compete in eight critical NESCAC east division contests against Colby College (21–5; 5–1 NESCAC), Bates and Trinity College (11–14; 3–3 NESCAC) that decide whether the Polar Bears make the playoffs.

On Friday, in the first of a planned three-game series against Bates, Bowdoin broke out of a slow 3–3 start by converting two walks, two errors and five hits into seven runs in the fifth inning. Captain Kevin Murray ’25 was proud of the team for fighting for the 13–8 win.

“[It was] another rainy game and pretty typical Bowdoin-Bates game where you have to grind it out, and our guys showed up to play,” Murray said.

Bowdoin was unable to capitalize on the momentum in its remaining games because, three innings into the first Saturday game, play was called off due to rain.

The Polar Bears were back at it on Monday in a rescheduled game against Tufts, who bested the team twice earlier this season. This time, Alex Saavedra ’26 came out of the bullpen to pitch five scoreless innings, protecting Bowdoin’s 7–3 lead. Saavedra was awarded NESCAC Pitcher of the Week after delivering a pitching performance that was critical to controlling the game.

“[The pitcher is] how the hitters have competence in the game, the same way a pitcher gets confidence from their hitters … so I think it all feeds off of each other, and having someone like [Saavedra] perform very well made it that much easier to do everything else,” Stephen Simoes ’23 said.

The Polar Bears lost 8–2 to the University of Southern Maine on Wednesday but are now looking towards a rare full week of in-conference contests rescheduled for rain.

“We’re actually in a unique situation where most of the teams in our conference have played six or nine games when we’ve only played four. So, we have a pretty back-loaded schedule. We got a bunch of games coming up these next couple of weeks,” Murray said.

Due to the slower pace of baseball, the game is more about mental fortitude and staying focused for nine innings. Captain Jason Bogdanos ’25 highlighted that the team approaches every game with the same identity—that it will fight for the entire game.

“Every time at the beginning of the game … we’ll talk with our coach about … the game plan, what we’re looking for in the other team and especially what we’re looking for in ourselves … and the identity that we want to bring to the game,” Bogdanos said.

The Polar Bears have struggled at some points in the season, like in a losing series to Middlebury College (18–8; 4–2 NESCAC) two weeks ago, while excelling in others, like over spring break in Florida. Bogdanos elaborated on the mindset the team has adopted to stay consistent through a long season.

“[The season’s] been a roller coaster. But at the same time we can’t define our season by the highs and the lows. We can never ride the highs, and we can never ride the lows,” Bogdanos said. “We’ve been able to pull ourselves out of that pit and fight our way back…. There’s plenty of baseball left, and we are gonna play our brand of baseball without relying on that roller coaster.”

Despite baseball having individualistic aspects, like hitting, Bogdanos emphasized the fact that the team’s wins do not come from individual performances but team efforts. Simoes attributed the team’s potential this season to depth and strength across class years.

“We’re an older team now because we have five classes: the super seniors, the regular seniors, the juniors and sophomores and the [first years]. So we have a veteran group of guys who have played in the playoffs before,” Simoes said.  “And the younger guys have been awesome. Our [first years] are all contributing right away, which is very rare.”

Bowdoin will head to the diamond for a three-game series against Colby today and tomorrow and will make up its two canceled games against Bates on Wednesday and Thursday.


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