Baseball opens on new field with 4-10 record

Colby Baseball opened their season at a modest  4-10, but the team has posted impressive wins over NESCAC foe Williams College and Maine rival University of Maine Farmington (UMF). The win over UMF was also the program’s first victory on the new Coombs field. Co-Captain Soren Hanson ’16 has been strong both on the mound and at the plate for Colby, earning NESCAC player of the week honors for the last full week of March. 

Under head coach Dale Plummer, the team has high hopes for this season coming off the second 20-win season for the program last year. Co-Captains Hanson, Tommy Forese ’16, and Dan Csaplar ’16 lead a team bolstered by the improvements to Coombs field, the first synthetic turf field in the NESCAC. Hanson posted an impressive 5-1 record as a starting pitcher with a 3.08 earned run average and 38 strikeouts. At bat, he was third on the team in batting average (.348), and his overall performance earned him All-New England honors from D3baseball.com and first-team all NESCAC honors for the 2015 season. Forese was second team All-NESCAC last year after leading the Mules in runs batted in (RBI), slugging percentage, on base percentage, walks, and runs scored. Csaplar was a fielding maestro for Colby, posting just one error in 111 attempts at first-base last season. 

At a Spring Break tournament in sunny Tucson, Arizona, the Mules split their first two games against the University of Wisconsin at Superior. Colby outhit Wisconsin in both games, but lost the first matchup by a narrow margin of 5-4 before taking the nightcap by a more convincing 15-7 score. They scorched the Wisconsin pitching staff for 17 hits in the second game, and a massive variety of Mules got hits, batted in runs, and scored runs. However, Blake Egan ’18 was a standout in the first win of the young Colby season, as had a trio of hits, two runs, and two RBIs. 

In the second doubleheader against Oberlin College, the Mules dropped both games but saw some bright spots. In their 8-1 loss in the opener, Hanson pitched six innings and only allowed one run off six hits while striking out eight batters. The relief pitching cracked under the pressure of a close game and gave up seven runs, but the power of Colby’s ace was evident after the scores were tallied. The Mules were unable to mount any offense in the nightcap and fell to Oberlin, 4-0. 

The Mules split their next doubleheader with Carleton College and fell the next day in games against both Carthage College and Buena Vista. Against a wide array of talented opponents from across the country, the Mules struggled to earn many runs and cracked under the pressure  of a small, late-inning leads multiple times in games, including the one against Buena Vista, where they led by one run after five innings but gave up the lead in the final two. Colby dropped their next two games against Hastings College two days later. 

However, Co-Captain and ace Hanson came to the rescue in Arizona against NESCAC foe WIlliams. He pitched eight dominant innings in which he allowed just four hits and no runs in the team’s final game in Arizona.The Mules won 9-2 after Andrew Currier ’16 led the offense with three hits, three RBI, and one run. The team left Spring break with a 3-8 record. 

Back on Mayflower Hill, the Mules earned their first win at “The Stable,” or Coombs field, over UMF. The new turf’s first win was earned in a close 7-6 affair. Pinch-hitter Matt Garcia ’18 was the hero as he hit in Currier with a game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Unfortunately, this victory was quickly soured after the team dropped both doubleheader games to Wesleyan this past Saturday at Coombs Field. Going forward,  the Mules hope to fight off their uneven start and put together a string of victories as it warms up in Maine. They play host to Trinity College on Friday at 3:00 P.M. and Saturday at 12:00 P.M.