Members of the Bowdoin College baseball team prepare to greet Kevin Murray at home plate after Murray clubbed a walk-ff homer against Bates this season. Photo provided by Bowdoin College/Brian Beard

BRUNSWICK —The beat keeps going for the Bowdoin College baseball team.

The Polar Bears, after rallying past Wesleyan University in the New England Small College Athletic Conference quarterfinals last weekend, will look to win the conference crown this weekend at Colby College in Waterville.

The four-team double-elimination NESCAC semifinals begin Friday, with Colby hosting Middlebury at 2:30 p.m. Bowdoin (18-14) will face Tufts at 6 p.m.

“All four teams are very good, there should be some real good baseball this weekend,” Bowdoin coach Mike Connolly said.

The Polar Bears are in the championship round of the NESCAC tournament for the first time since 2013.

“This is a very resilient bunch, a group of tough kids. They did a great job all year of moving on to the next pitch,” said Connolly. “(They) didn’t get too high or get too low; they are always in it.”


The Bowdoin College baseball team is the NESCAC semifinals, which will be played this weekend at Colby College in Waterville. Photo provided by Bowdoin College/Brian Beard

Pitching has been the highlight of Bowdoin’s success this spring. Jack Mullen, Jason Bogdanos and Luke Chessie have paced the starters while relievers Connor Cassady, Jack Olcott and Jake Sullivan have been strong out of the bullpen. Sullivan has also started five games for the Polar Bears this season.

“Our pitching has been constant all year long,” said Connolly. “We know going into a game our starters are going to do well for us and throw strikes and that helps settle our defense.”

Mullen, a Cheverus graduate from Freeport, led the team with six wins, including a shutout against Middlebury, while posting a 3.12 ERA and striking out 43 in 52 innings. His six wins lead the NESCAC.

The junior came up big against Wesleyan in the best-of-three quarterfinal round. Facing elimination, the righty fired a complete game, allowing only three runs while striking out seven to force a decisive game three. The performance earned him NESCAC Pitcher of the Week honors.

Offensively, the Polar Bears struggled early, but they seem to be hitting their stride of late, Connolly said.

Bowdoin College’s Nick Merrill makes contact during a game this season. Photo provided by Bowdoin College/Brian Beard

“Recently we’ve had some really good at-bats,” he said. “As the season has gone on, the swings have gotten better.”

Sophomore Kevin Murray led the team with a .418 batting average and 41 hits. He also led the team in OPS (1.152), runs (25), doubles (8), home runs (6) and RBI (26).

Juniors Ben McKenzie and Gabe Peckler each batted over .300 and belted four homers for Bowdoin, which hit .294 as a team.

Bowdoin will have a tough challenge against Tufts; the Jumbos swept the Polar Bears in April (8-5, 4-3, 10-6) and entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed.

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