Baseball finishes season strong, looks forward to NESCAC tournament

Having just wrapped up their final NESCAC games of the regular season, the Jumbos have just three games remaining in their regular season schedule. The team secured first place in the NESCAC East last week but lost its first game in conference play to Bowdoin 5-2 on Saturday. The loss came in the final game of a series against the Polar Bears; the Jumbos won the other two games, 4-3 and 16-0, and then beat Bates Bobcats on Sunday to finish divisional play with an 11-1 record.

Tufts’ first game against Bowdoin was the closest of the series, as junior starter Tim Superko went eight innings deep, letting up just three runs, one of which was unearned. Superko fanned 13 in his lengthy start. The Jumbos’ offense wasn’t explosive in the game, but put up just enough runs to secure the victory, with doubles from senior captain Cody McCallum and junior Oscar Kutch.

The second game was a blowout in favor of the Jumbos, who received seven innings from junior starter Speros Varinos. Varinos allowed just two hits and walked one in his complete game. The game remained close until the fifth inning, when the Jumbos put up five runs, followed by four runs apiece in the sixth and seventh. McCallum was the team’s strongest offensive force, driving in four runs in the contest.

The third game was the toughest for the Jumbos, who, as a result of their consistent pitching, rarely end up down early in a game. The Polar Bears scored two in the first, followed by another three in the third. Tufts tried to battle back with two late runs, but the Bears’ lead proved insurmountable.

On Sunday, the team rebounded from its loss with a 6-5 win at Bates. The 12-inning affair was a drawn out battle that saw the Bobcats even the score at five in the eighth to force extra innings. Despite the scoreline, neither offense was explosive, as both pitchers kept the game under control. Tufts’ first-year starter R.J. Hall went seven deep before the team received two innings each from sophomore Ian Kinney and first-year Joe Thomas, who claimed the W.

Tufts has been on a hot streak since the end of March, going 18-3 in April. This week the team will finish its regular season, with a game today against Eastern Conn. St. before facing off against Middlebury in a Sunday doubleheader. The postseason begins for the 26-6 Jumbos this Friday in the first game of the NESCAC tournament.