Thomas College hasn’t played a baseball game since spending a week in Arizona. The Terriers were 5-6 on the trip, and coach Greg King was thrilled.

“Usually, when we come back from the spring trip, we’ve got a lot to work on,” King said. “This time, I didn’t think we needed to work on all that much. It’s going to be a matter of fine-tuning and tweaking things.

“I thought our hitting was outstanding. Our pitching was more than adequate. After 16 years of spring trips, I think that we handled ourselves probably better than we ever had before.”

King said this despite losses during the trip by scores of 10-1, 12-1 (twice), 14-5, and 19-3. He explains that the batters had a lot of hard-hit balls that turned into outs. For example, the Terriers lost a doubleheader to Augsburg, 9-3 and 12-1, but struck out only four times in 54 at-bats.

King also liked the improvement he saw as far as taking fewer called third strikes, adjusting from at-bat to at-bat, and bouncing back after the other team had a good inning.

“I thought our approaches were phenomenal,” King said. “I’ve got a senior-laden team. I told them, ‘All these things we’ve been talking about for four years are finally happening.’ ”

Starting Saturday, Thomas has six games in four days — a pair of weekend doubleheaders at Colby-Sawyer, then a home doubleheader with Husson on Tuesday. That means six starting pitchers, but Thomas has 19 players listed as pitchers on the roster.

“In all honesty, I feel confident with anybody that we might be sending out there,” King said.

• • •

Colby softball went 2-8 on its Florida trip. One of the big stories there was the play of the freshmen.

The Mules were 10-19 overall last season but only 1-11 in New England Small College Athletic Conference play.

All five freshmen got regular playing time in Florida. Carolyn Bennett hit .478, Meaghan Lewis hit .323, Erica Pulford hit .242 and leads Colby with seven RBIs, Erin Caputo is at .192, and pitcher Megan Michie has a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings.

“My goal is to recruit kids who can make an immediate impact,” Colby coach Kristina Katori said.

Bennett, of Scarborough, actually wasn’t recruited, but got in touch with Katori about joining the team after arriving on campus. She bats ninth and has started nine of Colby’s 10 games.

Bri Wheeler is also off to a strong start, which is doubly impressive because it was barely a month ago that she finished the hockey season as a goalie with a 2.76 goals-against-average. After being named second-team all-NESCAC, Wheeler is now playing third base and hitting .419 in the cleanup spot for the Mules.

The pitching has been almost by committee, as five different players — Michie, Caputo, Lauren Becker, Amie Polimento, and Kelsey Yardumian — have each started at least one game in the circle.

“If we have to use five in a game, we will,” Katori said. “I’d prefer not to, but it’s an option. They all have different strengths.”

Colby actually had the lead in six of its eight losses so far. The main downfall in Florida was defense. The Mules gave up 28 unearned runs, compared to five by their opponents.

“We need to just clean up our play up north,” Katori said. “We had too many plays that should have been made. We just gotta play clean softball.”

• • •

Colby baseball went 7-5 in Florida, and the biggest reason was probably senior third baseman Mike Mastrocola. In addition to picking up his 100th career hit, Mastrocola is now batting .488 with a .551 on-base percentage and a .744 slugging percentage.

Mastrocola has scored 15 runs and driven in 22. What makes the RBI count so amazing is that Colby played 34 games last season, and no one drove in more than 19 runs. In fact, no Colby player has had more than 22 RBIs in a season since Mastrocola himself had 29 in 29 games as a sophomore in 2010.

On Thursday, Mastrocola was named to the D3baseball.com National Team of the Week.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243
[email protected]


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