Andrew Currier went 3 for 5 in Colby baseball’s win over UMaine-Farmington on Monday. Currier is hitting .309, with an on-base percentage of .356.

That .356 number is pretty good. Unbelievably, it’s also the lowest among Colby’s nine regular starters, which is why the Mules can afford to bat Currier eighth in a loaded lineup.

Colby’s lineup is so good that the No. 8 hitter is also third on the team in RBI. The Mules were 10th in the country in team batting average through April 9. Currently, Colby is batting .331 as a team, with a .404 on-base percentage.

Almost out of nowhere, junior Tommy Forese has become one of Colby’s most valuable players. As a freshman, Forese had one hit. He bumped that up to three hits in his sophomore season, and entered this spring with a .182 career average in 22 at bats.

So it’s a little surprising this season that Forese is hitting .417 and leading the Mules in batting average, walks and runs scored. Forese’s output isn’t just all singles, either — he also leads Colby with eight doubles and four home runs.

That’s not the only part of Forese’s story. He never pitched even one inning over his first two seasons at Colby, but is now the team’s closer. In eight appearances out of the bullpen, Forese has struck out eight and walked none, and has a 3.52 ERA to go with his four saves. On April 4 against Trinity, Forese played shortstop for the first eight innings and had a hit and two walks, then pitched the ninth inning to nail down a 5-3 win.

Tim Corey, Dan Csaplar and Zach Ellenthal are also each hitting over .360 for the Mules. After stealing 31 bases as a team last season, Colby has swiped 38 bags this year. Ryder Arsenault, who often bats leadoff, is the top thief, with 11 steals.

Pitching-wise, it doesn’t get much better than what junior Soren Hanson has done so far. Hanson should soon be making an appearance on the national leader lists. In three starts this spring, Hanson is 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA.

At 13-6, Colby has a good shot at eclipsing last year’s 16 wins. The Mules host Tufts in a three-game series this weekend. Game one is at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by a Saturday doubleheader beginning at noon.

• • •

Across the street from Coombs Field, the Colby softball team is also surpassing last year’s offensive numbers, and it looks like the Crafts Field residents will also barge past last spring’s record of 7-19.

Heading into Tuesday’s doubleheader with Thomas College, the Mules were 6-12 and hitting .245 as a team, compared to last year’s mark of .190. For example, Tori Sansone has gone from a .114 average last season to .259 this spring, while Grace Farnkoff has upped her average from .181 to .292. Another player, Robin Spofford, went from .079 to .268.

The irony is that interim coach Robin Penoyer wanted to — at least in part — introduce a bunting, slapping and aggressive baserunning style, and one of the biggest changes is the increase in Colby’s power.

As a team, the Mules had less than one extra-base hit per game last spring. The totals were 19 doubles, three triples and no home runs. This year, Colby already has 11 home runs, including four by Meaghan Lewia and three by Skylar Labbe. That total of 11 dingers is more than Colby has hit in the past four years — combined.

The pitching is also improved. Between Megan Michie (1-5, 3.00) and Julia Saul (5-7, 3.16), Colby has a team ERA of 3.10, a big improvement over last year’s mark of 5.25.

• • •

Thomas baseball arrived back in Maine with a 2-2 North Atlantic Conference record after splitting four games with Castleton in Florida. The Terriers then lost their first four conference games to Husson, by scores of 1-0, 1-0, 3-2, and 13-0.

“I don’t want to make excuses. We just didn’t hit,” Thomas coach Greg King said. “We got great pitching. It gave us an opportunity to win every game except one.”

Holding a 2-6 conference record, the Terriers got back on track on Sunday and Monday against New England College. Thomas won a pair of doubleheaders, and scored 27 runs in four games.

Perhaps the key game was the first half of Monday’s doubleheader. Thomas gave starting pitcher Derek Kane a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but he couldn’t get an out in the second inning, finishing with one inning pitched and six runs allowed. Freshman Matt Rutherford came on and pitched six shutout innings, and Kane delivered a two-run double in the sixth to drive in the tying and winning runs.

“The Rutherford kid — he’s not supposed to pitch (that day) — we left him in and he kept getting out after out after out,” King said. “We made Kane the DH, and he came up with a clutch hit. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept his head together.”

In the second game of the doubleheader, Dominic Esposito came on to pitch for only the fourth time all season, and went 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn a 4-3 victory. Overall, Thomas pitchers have a 3.61 ERA in conference games.

“It’s outstanding,” King said. “Every time that we’ve sent somebody out there, they’ve done their job.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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