The Bates baseball team is tournament bound. After splitting a doubleheader with Tufts on Saturday, they end the NESCAC regular season in a tie for second place in the NESCAC East Division and enter the tournament for the second season in a row. On this success, Jon Lindgren ’20 says, “Just making it to the playoffs and proving that we’re contenders two years in a row is a great feeling. This team has shown that we’re capable of beating almost anybody when we play to our potential. With the double elimination format of the NESCAC Championship, I think we’re in a great spot to make a run.” Before that however, there are a few more games to play. Captain Jake Shapiro ’18 says, “With playoffs coming up in a few weeks, we’re looking to make sure we continue to play good baseball in the games leading up to the tournament so that we can be ready to perform in the NESCAC tournament.”
When asked about individual performances this year, Lindgren mentions a slew of people, showcasing the talent that spans the whole roster: “Justin White is leading the team in batting average (.400) and has been tearing it up at the dish lately. Nolan Collins has been dominating on the mound against conference teams (he shoved in his performance against Tufts, striking out 8 against a team that does not strike out that often, boasting a 1.88 ERA in 24 conference innings). Zach Avila is mashing the balls this year batting .333 with 23 Hits and 13 RBIs. Connor Divincenzo has locked down the center field position and been a productive member of the lineup all season. Gee Torres has been hot of late at the dish and has had a smooth transition from playing second, to third.” He continues, “Connor Russell has also been one of our most consistent pitchers on the staff with a 3-2 record, a 4.5 ERA, and 31K. Jake Shapiro has been out lights out closer all year, with a 0.5 ERA, 12.5 Ks per 9, with 18 total innings of work. Jake has also set the career records for saves at Bates College. Not to mention, the consistent contributions of Kyle Carter, Asher Macdonald, Justin Foley, Miles Michaud, Alex Simon, Will Sylvia, Dan Trulli, and Jack Arend. Jack has surprised me the most in his role as an on field leader the season. As only a sophomore he, as well as the seniors, have inspired confidence in many of the players that have been able to play to their full potentials this season.”
Along with this, Shapiro says, “We have had a bunch of guys step up this season in big spots. I think the most impressive part of this year’s team has been the readiness of every player on the roster to make it happen when their names are called.” It seems that the key to success this season has been the ability of everyone to perform. Shapiro mentions players stepping up, while Lindgren provides a variety of examples of impressive performances from throughout the season.
Clearly, everyone on the team has contributed in various ways this season for the ‘Cats and it has made a huge difference. For two years in a row now, the team will compete in the NESCAC tournament and look to make a deep run. Although they look forward to this, there are still a few games before the tournament begins. This Tuesday they will play at Saint Joseph’s (ME), and then two games against Southern Maine on Wednesday and Saturday. The Saturday game will be at home at noon.