Baseball advances to NESCAC Championship

The Tufts Baseball team plays Colby College on April 10. Sophie Dolan / The Tufts Daily

Despite a season shortened by a pandemic and games canceled due to weather, the Tufts baseball team has made the most of the opportunities it has been given. The team finished the regular season with a 10–3 overall record.  

The Jumbos started out the season hot, winning three out of four games in their opening series over the Colby Mules. Miles Reid started Tufts’ 2021 offensive onslaught with a solo home run, and the Jumbos went on to score 31 total runs in those first four games. 

Junior right-hander Michael Volgende earned NESCAC Pitcher of the Week for a six-inning, eight-strikeout performance on opening day. Volgende has consistently given the Jumbos lights-out performances, winning all four of his starts with a 0.75 ERA. 

The Jumbos’ offense was dominant through the first 11 games of the regular season, putting up nine or more runs in more than half of their games played. On April 18 the Jumbos scored 17 runs in just seven innings at Colby

The junior tandem of outfielder Miles Reid and infielder Nate Bozzella have torn opposing pitching apart, boasting batting averages of at least .285 each during the regular season. Bozzella and Reid were consecutively named NESCAC Players of the Week, with Bozzella taking home the honor with a torrent weekend against Colby, and Reid blasting two homers in two games over Bates a week later. 

Reid was named to D3Baseball.com’s Team of the Week for his onslaught against Bates on April 24. The Silver Spring, Maryland native was 5–8 across two games, with two homers, two doubles, and five RBIs. 

Junior infielder Peter DeMaria, another big bat at the heart of the Tufts lineup, says that the Tufts offense needs to keep the same mentality they have the whole season as they near postseason play: Get the bat to the next guy in line.

“The most important thing is to stay within ourselves and try not to do things at the plate or on the field that are out of our control,” said DeMaria. “It’s a team game and trusting the guy behind you in the lineup or next to you in the field will be key to staying consistent.”

Not to be overlooked are the contributions of right-handers Cameron Mayer and Brendan McFall. Both have been a strong supporting cast to Volgende’s dominance, and they are each putting up numbers that have been crucial to Tufts’ hot start. 

Mayer, a sophomore in his first collegiate season, struck out 29 batters in his first 20 innings pitched, boasting a 2.25 ERA and collecting two wins in four starts. McFall, a junior out of New York, did not give up an earned run in seven innings pitched during the regular season, winning NESCAC Pitcher of the Week for a lights-out performance against Colby on April 18. 

On Sunday, the Jumbos clinched a bid to the NESCAC Championship with a 1–0, complete-game shutout from Brendan McFall. They’ll face Amherst with a bid to the NCAA Div. III tournament on the line. 

DeMaria, the reigning NESCAC Rookie of the Year, said that the key for the Jumbos going into a crucial weekend is to treat every game the same. 

“In the program we preach treating each game the same way every time,” DeMaria said. “We don’t look at one game being more important than the other, so going into this weekend we’re just gonna go out there and stick to our game plan.”

The Jumbos will compete in the NESCAC Championship series on May 8 and May 9.

Editor’s note: This article is an updated version of the article, “Baseball advances to NESCAC Championship,” which appeared on May 5 in the printed Commencement edition of The Tufts Daily. 


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