Baseball wins one over Tufts

Behind another great start from Soren Hanson ’16, the Mules baseball team was able to take one game in a three-game weekend series with Tufts. The Jumbos came into the weekend as the top-ranked Division III team in New England, and the Mules were able to avoid a dreaded sweep that would have certainly challenged their hopes of reaching the NESCAC playoffs.

The series got off to a tough start Friday for Colby during the first game of the series. The Mules, hosting their first home game of the season, were unable to get on the board and fell 9-0 to the Jumbos. Tufts starting pitcher Tim Superko carried the load, striking out fourteen Mules in a five-hit shutout. The Mules got hits from Jason Buco ’15, Peter McAuliffe ’15, Andrew Della Volpe ’17, Tim Corey ’15, and Chris Sonberg ’16, but were unable to put any of them together to create some runs, and were shut out for their second straight NESCAC game.

The Mules returned for a doubleheader on Saturday and were able to break the offensive funk they had fallen into. The Mules sent undefeated starter Hanson to the mound, and he lived up to his dominant season up to this point. Hanson struck out six Jumbos and allowed only four runs in a complete game. He helped his own cause by adding two hits for two RBI each in the first and second innings of the game. Tom Forese and Buco each scored twice and the Mules were able to take a much-needed game from the Jumbos.

Colby came back Saturday afternoon looking to take a surprising series victory, but ultimately Tufts responded to the earlier defeat with another offensive explosion. Despite a two-run home run from Buco, the Mules would allow 15 runs on 16 hits to the Jumbos and drop the final game of the series.

The team will move on from the series loss to the Jumbos to their biggest series of the season. The team will face off with in-state rival Bowdoin College with their season on the line. A series loss would almost guarantee the Mules will not make the NESCAC playoffs, while a victory keeps them very much in the hunt, depending on how Trinity and Bates finish their years. A sweep could put the Mules in the driver’s seat to meet their season goal of a playoff berth. The pitching of Hanson and hitting of Buco and Hanson again have the Mules showing bursts of dominance, and combining those bursts at the right time will be necessary to taking a season-defining series.

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