Baseball goes 0-3 to Tufts

Just like the spring flowers taking form here on campus, the Colby men’s baseball team has come into their own in the last few weeks. The Mules were riding a 5-1 record in their past six games and looked to keep their impressive streak going. They held a 10-15 record going into this past weekend’s action against the Jumbos of Tufts University. Three tough games proved to be a great challenge for this resilient team.

Friday night’s game pitted two fierce competitors against each other. Tufts, a powerhouse in Division III, had a record of 18-4, 5-0 in NESCAC play, going into the matchup against Colby. The tight game took ten innings to decide a winner, but Tufts eventually prevailed 7-6. Colby played a great all-around game despite coming up short at the end. This strong showing gave the Mules’ confidence going into their double header on Sunday.

The Mules looked to regain their recent dominant play. Dan Csaplar ’16 homered in the first game, giving Colby a much needed offensive spark. Despite this early offensive boost, however, the Mules had already fallen too far behind, as the Jumbos scored five runs in the first inning and tacked on five more in the fifth inning. The ten-run surge would prove insurmountable for the Mules, as they fell 12-4 in the first game.

Better hitting and improved defense kept the score close right down to the very end of the second game. A home run by Tommy Forese ’16 gave the Mules a boost and doubles by Matt Garcia ’18 and Zach Ellenthal ’16 added to the offensive resurgence by the Mules. Still, strong defense and great pitching by the Jumbos kept the revived Colby team at bay. Andrew David of Tufts pitched a full nine innings in the second game, striking out nine with only one walk. Bobby Forese ’18 pitched well in relief for the Mules despite their deficit in the game. A final score of 5-2 handed the Mules their third loss to the Jumbos in two days.

Despite a tough weekend, Matt Garcia ’18 spoke highly of the team’s camaraderie and  optimistic outlook for a strong finish to the season. “Our team has come together more than anything else this year. We have faced a lot of adversity, but whether we win or lose we always find a way to pick each other up and stay close,” Garcia said. He also spoke of the team’s strong potential going forward, “We have a lot of talent in every class and coaches that know every part of the game really well. All things considered, we have the tools to do very big things down the road with a great group of guys.”

With their three wins this weekend, Tufts clinched the East Division and earned the rights to host the NESCAC championships on May 13-15. The Mules look to rebound in three games against Bates next weekend. Regardless of what next weekend holds, it is clear that Colby Men’s Baseball has a lot of heart and fight in them and will be a tough opponent for teams for the next few years.

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