Play ball! It's time to preview the Bates baseball season. Plus, the women's track and field team put together a big time performance in the Distance Medley Relay and the women's basketball team ended the season on a high note. All that and more, on the Bates Bobcast!

Interviews this episode:

  • 1:09 -- Erika Lamere '19, Women's Basketball.
  • 2:49 -- Nick Lynch '19, Men's Basketball (Male Bobcat of the Week).
  • 8:23 -- Pat Cosquer '97, Squash Head Coach, talking about Female Bobcat of the Week Luca Polgar '20 and the women's and men's squash teams.
  • 16:21 -- Sarah Rothmann '19, Ayden Eickhoff '19, Amanda Kaufman '21 and Elise Lambert '22, Women's Track and Field Distance Medley Relay Team.
  • 24:21 -- Jon Martin, Head Coach, Bates Baseball

Bobcast Transcript

Aaron: This is the Bates Bobcast. Our weekly podcast where we take a look at the week that was, in Bates athletics. My name is Aaron Morse and this week we preview the Bates baseball season! Plus, the women’s track and field team put together a big time performance in the Distance Medley Relay and the women’s basketball team ended the season on a high note. All that and more, coming up, on the Bates Bobcast!

Aaron: The women’s and men’s basketball teams wrapped up their seasons this past week. The women defeated Husson 68-44 on Tuesday behind 16 points from senior captain Erika Lamere. Then they fell to Trinity on Friday before bouncing back to defeat the University of Southern Maine 70-49 on Monday. Bates finishes the season with a 12-12 record, the most wins for the program since the 2012-13 season. Lamere, the team’s lone senior, scored 13 points in her final game as a Bobcat. After the win, she joined the live broadcast.

Erika: It feels very good, and it just means a lot that we were able to cap the season off so well. To do it at home, where we just spend every day, just means the world.

Aaron: And they gave you, obviously, the green light to shoot as usual, 13 points. You know, after the first three went down, it seemed you really got into a rhythm, right?

Erika: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I told my team, I was like, "In the fourth quarter, if I'm gettin' the ball, I'm shootin' it." So, they were behind that, and I'm just glad they went in.

Aaron: For those who don't know, Erika missed most of her sophomore and junior years with injuries, and this senior year, such a breakthrough for you. Describe what your thoughts are on this season, if you can, just maybe in a few words, if possible. What does it mean to you to have such a breakthrough senior year?

Erika: Absolutely. I mean, it just means so much to be able to have this year, with the group that we have. Every single girl on this team has worked so hard to get this program to where it is today. And to be able to spend my senior, healthy year with these girls on this team, and accomplish what we've accomplished in these four years, just means the world to me. And I'm just so happy that I was able to be healthy for it.

Aaron: The men’s basketball team defeated UMaine-Farmington 73-65 on Tuesday. Then the Bobcats nearly knocked off Trinity on the road Friday, falling short by a count of 76-73. On Monday, Bates wrapped up its season with a nail-biter against Southern Maine, with the Huskies pulling out a 78-72 win over the Bobcats. Senior captain Nick Lynch had a big week for Bates, recording a double-double against the Beavers, a game-high 20 points at Trinity and another double-double, plus a career-high 16 rebounds in the season finale against the Huskies. And Nick Lynch is our Male Bobcat of the Week!

Aaron: Just had your final game of your career, we're talkin' on Tuesday, yesterday. Has it sunk in yet? I mean, what's goin' through your mind right now? You know, you're movin' on to graduation, and then the real world after that.

Nick: I dunno if it'll ever sink in, to be honest. I'll probably always think I'm kind of off-season, but that's something I'm gonna have to tackle soon, I guess.

Aaron: Do you see yourself playin' basketball? I know you have a job lined up in New York, but I mean playin' basketball in the community and what not a little bit?

Nick: Oh, absolutely. I'm an insanely competitive person, so I'm sure I'll find something. Absolutely.

Aaron: Excellent. So, you came in here as a first-year, the Delpeche twins were kind of established, even when you were arriving on campus. How have you seen yourself develop as a player, from your first season to now?

Nick: Totally, so I kinda came in and the Delpeche Twins were more of post-game, definitely more established general as historic bigs. Also, actually my brother played like that, as well. So I kind of took the other route, where I kind of a little more off-post, kind of short corner, mid-range jump shot. And kind of get my baskets there, as opposed to kind of going through people, and obviously, the NESCAC has some incredible size, so it gets really difficult. And I'm not under-sized big, but I'm not exactly over-sized when you're playing some of these bigger teams, with seven-footers. My post game is really, really tough, so I kind of try to take the more, try-and-go out athleticism than I'm tryin' really go around there and out-jump shot them. And I think I've seen some success in it, over time.

Aaron: What was it like battling through those injuries, end of your first year, and then missing most of your sophomore season?

Nick: It was definitely tough, and I obviously, I missed the end of freshman year, and then that whole sophomore year. So that was definitely a battle, and you never really see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it was all worth it, junior year and senior year. It was an amazing experience.

Aaron: We had a big man come in this year, Kenny Aruwajoye, his first year on campus. Have you been talkin' with him? A little bit different style game, maybe, than you. But, he's probably got to start at center next season, with you graduating.

Aaron: One thing I noticed in Monday's game is you and him were on the court at the same time. I hadn't seen that before, at least at home games. How did that kind of go?

Nick: Actually, yeah. So I ended up telling Coach Furbush, at one point, I used to play the top of the 1-3-1 in high school. And he basically just said, and out of nowhere he kinda said, "Yeah, be ready for that," and never used it. And then Trinity, actually, put me on the top. And it actually had a little bit of success there, 'cause it just two big guys who can really rebound well. So Kenny, obviously, amazing rebounder, and then me running in with, basically, no one to box out. Just a free run of the hoop, so you're able to get a lot more rebounds. So it really was kind of a, make sure we can get the board, secure it, and go. I'd like to think my length disturbs people up there, too.

Nick: I give a lot of credit to the guys who played all the time, like Brandon and Kody. It's the most tiring position, by far. You're basically just running back and forth, jumping, and just tryin' to just disrupt the ball any way you can. And 2 minutes of that is like 30 minutes of sprints. It's crazy.

Aaron: You got a career-high of 16 rebounds yesterday, also. I mean, goin' out on top sorta with that, at least, the rebounding amount.

Nick: Yeah, I know. That definitely helps. I think facing some of these NESCAC teams, where it's obviously go after the boards, are a little bigger. Getting some of the boards secured, gets you in the right mindset to get some of these big boards.

Aaron: Earlier in the week, I noticed you had those two emphatic dunks against Maine-Farmington does really seem to set the tone. How much do non-conference games get you ready for the NESCAC games, building up in terms of your game, what you're doing?

Nick: I like to think the NESCAC games are kinda their own little thing. I mean, there's nothing like a NESCAC game, in my opinion. You can play a non-conference game, but the NESCACs, it's just so much chippier. You know there's so much at stake. Like in a NESCAC game, I'd like to think that people are not soft with you. They're gonna hack you, they're gonna go at you as hard as they can. And in a non-conference game, I think it's more of, people are tryin' to get better and tryin' to win the game. But I think it's less chippy, it's less intense. So I think there's nothin' that really prepares you for NESCAC games like NESCAC games.

Aaron: Makes sense, right, yeah. So you're graduating, you're headed to New York City next year. I assume you're gonna be playing close attention to the program next season, see where it goes kinda, right?

Nick: Absolutely, yeah. I think they can find a lot of success. They have some amazing guys returning, all those guards, Kenny, Snoddy, players off the bench. People are just workin' so hard, and I think they're just gonna find success the way they need to. I think they'll be good.

Aaron: I feel like, yes. Snoddy, he missed the last part of the season 'cause of mono and everything. But it seems like he really flashed some really great potential. That one pass he had to you, the wraparound pass he had was pretty amazing.

Nick: Absolutely, yeah. The guy has a lot of potential. He came in, right from the start, and helped us. I wish we had him for the NESCAC play, but obviously, he'll be back.

Aaron: Well, Nick Lynch, any other thoughts on your career here at Bates, and what it's meant to you?

Nick: I mean, unbelievable experience. Thank you to Coach Furbush for takin' a chance on me and gettin' me here. I mean, the seniors are basically family now, Brandon, Hummel, all those guys, anyone I've ever played with. So I mean, unbelievable experience, recommend it to anyone. The Bates program is amazing, the alumni network's amazing. They do so much for you, on and off the court, so just an unbelievable experience. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it. And thank you, as well.

Aaron: All right, excellent. Nick Lynch, Male Bobcat of the Week, appreciate it.

Nick: Thanks, Aaron. Appreciate everything.

Aaron: The women’s squash team finished sixth at the NESCAC Championships over the weekend. A trio of Bobcats went undefeated over the course of four matches, with junior Luca Polgar winning all her matches at the No. 1 position. She is our Female Bobcat of the Week but is off campus right now, so we sat down with the Bobcats’ head coach Pat Cosquer to recap NESCACs for the women and look forward to team nationals for the men this weekend at Yale.

Pat: Yeah, Luca's a warrior. She's a real Bobcat. She shows up every day, and plays with passion and conviction, and she's just really tough to beat. She's on the level of some of the greats that we've ever had here. It's really great to watch her really blossoming this year, as a leader and as a number one player, it's really great. I'm really proud of her.

Aaron: Yeah. This year, her only losses are to number one Trinity, and the really good number one from Mount Holyoke. Where does she rank in the country right now? She's on a roll at the moment.

Luca: Yeah, it's really up to her. To be honest, we've talked a lot over the past couple years about how far she wants to go. Does she wanna be an All-American? And I think this might be the year that she can push up there. As you said, Aaron, the two losses are probably to two first-team, maybe second-team All-Americans. And they were tight, too. The Trinity woman that she played here on the glass court, she was probably 5 or 6 points away there, even though it was a 3-0. And the Mount Holyoke kid, as well, I mean, first-year from Sri Lanka, I think. Just a really tough player, and Luca gave her all that she could handle. And so yeah, I think if she really pushes at individuals down at Brown in a few weeks, she could be an All-American, no question.

Will she be won at the other divisions, if you win it, you get the All-American status?

I think so, yeah. We have, the top flight is 16, so I don't think she's there in the ratings or rankings at this point, but no, definitely. I mean, she was close last year even, too. She had some really tough matches at GW, down at D.C., and she knows it. I think it just takes a little bit more work, over the next couple weeks, and she definitely has the dedication and desire. I think it's tightening up just a little bit, her game, and really just believing that she can do it. I think she's there this year, and we'll see. And if not, next year is gonna be a great year as well. You know, I'm just really proud of her. She's done some really great things.

Aaron: Yeah, your match against Middlebury, I believe, she was down 2 games to 1, and rallied to win it?

Pat: Yeah, her opponent from Middlebury, they've battled probably 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 times over the past 3 years, and they're really tight. They're both physical players, they're both real aggressive, and they get in each other's ways. And there's elbows and hips and shoulders everywhere, and so it really is sort of a mental battle. Refereeing comes into play there because the ball's, a lot of times, in the middle of the court, and both women are in each other's way. So, Kristyna has the unlucky job of refereeing Luca in those situations, so that's tricky, and so, Luca just fought.

Pat: She's one of those players, we've probably only had 3 or 4, in my time in 11 years, where she just hates to lose. She just does not wanna lose. It doesn't matter if it's in practice, or with a guy, or with a teammate, or with another woman from another team. She just does not wanna lose, and that's what happened. And same thing with Tufts on Sunday. She lost a game, and once she loses a game, or you know, she also got hit in the wrist during the match, I think.

Pat: So once something like that happens, a bad call or a little injury or something just sets her off, she just gets really angry. And the rest is history, she goes on and wins that match. So, sometimes that's the best kick in the butt is a little bit of adversity. And she's the type of kid that sort of relishes in that adversity, and it's really great. So selfishly, I wish we had more players like that.

Aaron: Well, speaking of not losing, I don't think Maeve O'Brien has lost since I can remember. I mean, sophomore, joined the team kinda midway through this year, ended last year on a big winning streak, and just keeps it goin', doesn't she?

Pat: Yeah, Maeve is a rock star. She hasn't lost, I was looking at this 'cause you keep posting it, and they talk about it on the bus, the streak. And then I say, "Well, you only have 47 more matches to go until Ahmed's streak." But Maeve has won, I think, 18, 19 times in a row, and dating back to the Brown match we had on a Sunday or Saturday night late in January of 2018, which again, was a close match, too.

Pat: I think she's 23-4 since she started here, playing anywhere from 3 to 5 or 6. And she, again, sorta like Luca, she does not wanna lose. She's just really focused when she's on the court, just a really incredible competitor with a lot of heart and desire, and she's the type of person that we look for for this program. And I know, going out at number 5, she can win every single time, doesn't matter who we're playing. I think, probably, we'll have to move her up in the lineup at some point because coaches are catching on that she's just a lot to win at 5, that she's had some really good results, so we'll see. I look forward to watching her play at nationals, as well. Three more matches and then done for the season.

Aaron: And then Natasha Jones, a first-year. Big weekend for her, too, 4-0 as well. She's had a really nice debut season, also. Reminds me of Katie and Maeve last year.

Pat: Definitely. Yeah, Natasha came in, she was ready to play. You know, we recruit that way, ready to play when you get here. She's had some adversity, she's had some health issues, and that's contributed a little bit of inconsistency in the fall and early in January. But now that she's healthy, or closer to healthy, she's putting it all together on the court. She also really just believes now that she can win, and that's part of the mental toughness of squash.

Pat: And the bump up to college squash, as it relates to high school squash, it's just really, you're playin' the same people. But everyone's a little bit older, and there's more stuff goin' on. There's more challenges with college life, and parents are watching, and old high school coaches are watching, and all that stuff. And so, once they believe that they can win, and once they sort of focus on what we've worked on at training, and really focus on themselves and getting better, they're really capable of doing anything, and Natasha's proven that.

Aaron: So, team nationals comin' up, first for the men, then the women after that. Seems like both teams are gonna be in the C flight, is that fair to say?

Pat: Yup, yup, yup. Both, the men are right in the middle of the C flight. I think we're 5th out of 8 teams. I think we're drawing MIT, which is a good match-up for us. We lost to them at 7-2 a few weeks ago, a midweek match down in Boston, so that was tricky, and I like the way they match up. I don't know exactly what our ladder's gonna be yet, and I don't know what their ladder's gonna be. But I don't really, we've talked about a lot with the guys. It really has to do more with us than it does anyone we're playing, and we've trained really hard. The guys are such a great group. They're really focused, they work hard. They just really wanna win, and they're competitive, and they're together.

Pat: And so, I really think that they're capable of, they can win the C flight if they really put their minds to it. And the draw matches up nicely for us, and we get some good individual performances, I think that they can win. 'Cause I think the top seed in that draw is Williams, and we played them, it seems like ages ago. I think it was January 11th, or something like that. But we're a better team now, and so I like our chances.

Aaron: The track and field teams competed at the Valentine Invitational hosted by Boston University over the weekend. For the first time this season, the women put together a Distance Medley Relay, and the Bobcats shined. Senior captain Sarah Rothmann led off the DMR in the 1,200-meter leg, followed by sophomore Amanda Kaufman in the 400, first-year Elise Lambert in the 800 and senior captain Ayden Eickhoff in the 1,600 meters. Bates finished the relay in 11:50.86, eighth-fastest out of 32 squads from all three NCAA divisions and beyond. It puts this DMR team 4th on Bates’ all-time performance list. And we sat down with all four runners.

Aaron: Ayden and Sarah, you two have run the DMR before. A couple of years ago, you got All-American there at nationals. So this race, with as you said off-air, Ayden, two veterans and two rookies, what was that experience like at BU?

Ayden: Each one is certainly different, which makes it really, really fun each time. This one was kind of a whirlwind, as we showed up to BU, started warming-up. And they actually moved the race 10 minutes earlier, which, we could've used those 10 minutes for our warm-up. So, you couldn't think about it, you just were right on the track. All of sudden, everyone was walkin' out there. All the other girls were kind of in the same boat, but it was really exciting. Really, really great to see Elyse and Amanda really kill it out there.

Aaron: Awesome. And then Sarah, you led off, right? So, how's it goin', when you lead off a race like that? What are lookin' to, in terms of setting the pace for the team, and what not?

Sarah: I just always wanna make sure that I leave my team in a great spot for the relay. I love relays for that reason. It's a team-centric event, and we did have two newer members of it. So I wanna make sure that they did not feel overwhelmed or anything, and I wasn't putting them in an uncomfortable position at all. So I think it went pretty well, considering that.

Aaron: Terrific. So Amanda, you're a sophomore. That was your first-ever DMR, high school, college, it doesn't matter. So what was the experience like for you?

Amanda: Yeah, so I honestly, was extremely flattered when Jay told me I was gonna be running the 400 leg, just because this is an extremely talented group of girls. So, I think for me, that just made it super exciting, and I knew, having two seasoned veterans, that it would be smooth sailing for the most part. And then, Ayden said, it definitely was a whirlwind at BU. But all around, very exciting and really, really awesome time. Yeah.

Aaron: Elyse, as a first-year, had you ever run a DMR in high school, or anything like that?

Elyse: Yeah, I'd done a few before.

Aaron: What was this like, maybe compared to your time in high school?

Elyse: It was definitely a lot scarier. I felt a little bit more like I had a little bit more counting on me, but I knew I had great teammates to support me the whole way. Sarah helped me a lot, just relax beforehand, especially with the warm-up situation. I was really nervous. Overall, it was a really good experience.

Aaron: And you ran the 800, right? Is that something you typically run, whether it be in a relay or individually?

Elyse: Yeah, so 800 and 600 are kinda like my main events, at this point in the season.

Aaron: And you're the only one we haven't had on the Bobcast before. So I wanna ask you, being a first-year, how did you decide Bates was the place for you?

Elyse: Well, I always tell people, "It was the feel." You know, you come here, there's just a unique feeling about it. But, what really made my decision was, when I sat in on a track, practiced during the fall, during the pre-season, and I did a workout with the girls. And I just felt like the team was such a loving place, and so I knew that I would feel great here.

Aaron: And then Ayden, obviously, this was a fast race. I know there was a lot of schools had fast times, also. So what was that dynamic like?

Ayden: I had really no clue what to expect. And, especially with the mile legs, so much of the race has already been decided by that point. So, I actually ended up following this pretty speedy Brandeis girl out, and she kinda just led me along. So it was really nice to feel comfortable, that if I could just stick with her, I would run a good race. So, it was really cool.

Aaron: And then Sarah, I haven't had a chance to look, I know it's 4th on the all-time performance listed Bates. Is this the fastest one you've been part of?

Sarah: I think it's pretty comparable to what we've run. It's just always nice to take each season for what it is, and see where we are, and this is one of the earlier DMRs that I've been on. We usually don't compete until later in February or in March, so it's nice to know we're in a good spot early on. We can just keep on improving and working hard.

Aaron: Excellent. And then Amanda, you ran the 400, so you ran the shortest leg, right? So, not quite a sprint, but kinda close to one?

Amanda: Yeah. So, pretty much the 400 runners do, primarily, train with the sprinters. And it is the distance medley relay, so that was a little out of my element. But, like I said before, these girls are awesome, such a supporting environment. We're a huge, collective team, between sprinters and distance-runners, but definitely was a little weird, like the change of the 12,000 going into the 4. But just made it super fun, to be able to go out and be speedy for these girls.

Aaron: What's the key to successful baton handoff, and all that, how that goes?

Amanda: Honestly, maybe just communication, but without talking, and definitely not leaving too soon. That can cause problems, but I think, for the first time out, I think we did a pretty good job. They're definitely were some bumps, but like I said, it was the first time out, so it's good.

Aaron: Elyse, as first-year, did you get any advice from a couple seniors here?

Elyse: Mostly, just to relax. I'm a very nervous person pre-race, so it was good encouragement, yeah.

Aaron: Is being relaxed real crucial, you think?

Ayden: Yeah, I think at BU, it's really, really easy to let the environment kind of get to you. And fortunately, we were there early in the morning, but it was still crazy. There was lines everywhere, you couldn't get through the hallways, it certainly was stressful. And it's also easy, as a first-year, running with this new team, to feel that stress very acutely. So, when we were all warming up, just saying, "It's okay. We're just gonna get a time in the books, and see what happens."

Aaron: Is this the largest meet, in terms of just sheer numbers?

Sarah: It was, definitely. Each event had, certainly, many, many heats. I know, like in the mile, there was probably 11 or 17 heats, I forget.

Amanda: I think there was 30. It was crazy.

Sarah: Yeah, or something crazy. Just to not let that get to you, though. Treat it as a race, and we're all gonna put our best effort. Nice thing with a relay is that it's not just one person. There's four legs that are just as important. If one person's not doing their best, you can definitely help each other out and pick each other back up.

Aaron: Amanda, what was the atmosphere like, from your point of view?

Amanda: Yeah, so this, actually, was my first time running at BU, ever. So, that definitely was a little bit of, not culture shock is not necessarily the right word, but definitely was crazy. It was a huge stage, a lot different than some of our other meets, but I think it just made it that much more exciting. And just fulfilling to know that all the work that we've been putting in, I know the sprinters, we start practicing in September, and summer training. So that's just a very long pre-season without competing, so it's just really nice to see those big times on the big stages.

Aaron: And Elyse, your team here, you mentioned tryin' to be calm and what not, how did the atmosphere, did it impact you at all? Or you were just focused?

Elyse: I think it definitely has an impact on how you perform, just like you go to a crowded venue and there's a lot of energy. There's a lot of people there, and it's a little scary, of course. But it's also really exciting, just to be able to put yourself out there and show everybody else what your D-III school is made of, you know?

Aaron: For sure. And Ayden, have you talked with Coach Jay and what not about the strategy of the DMR, going forward? What meets you'll enter, and what you might not?

Ayden: We have not. I actually will check in with her later, in terms of how our 11:50 will stand throughout the season. I think, historically, that time will qualify, although each year is different, so we'll just keep on keepin' on.

Aaron: Sounds good. Ayden, Sarah, Elyse and Amanda, thanks so much.

Aaron: It’s time to play ball! The Bates baseball season gets underway next week in Florida against Augustana College. Last season the Bobcats made the four-team NESCAC tournament for the second straight year. Head Coach Jon Martin fills us in on this year’s squad.

Aaron: Instead of California, goin' to Florida this year for a rather, I know, big RussMatt Invitational, where there are tons of teams. What prompted this move to go to Florida, instead of California?

Jon: I think we just were lookin' for something to change up the scenery a little bit, still stay in the sun, still enjoy the warm weather. This is a little easier flight, and I think that it'll be a good experience for the guys. We play on some nice facilities, and we stay in a condominium, kind of resort area, with a pool complex. So, when we're not on the field, we have a little free time. But I think it'll be a good change, little easier travel schedule, we're flyin' direct from Portland, which you can't really beat that. So, I think it's just something that we're gonna try out, and we'll re-evaluate once the trip is finished.

Aaron: Four games with Augustana, and one game with Capital. How do you kinda determine how you're gonna set up the schedule?

Jon: Well, we were limited obviously with how many teams were available to play. That's one of the reasons, I think, Bates hasn't gone to Florida much in the past. And there's just more options in California with, there's 10 different colleges and universities out there to play. So, we're lookin' to go to Florida, play a four-game set with Augustana, who's a very good team from the Midwest, they're from Illinois. They were close to 30 wins last year, I think they were 27 wins last year. They're gonna be a strong, competitive team with some depth. And then Capital, I know nothing about. I just know they're comin' in that weekend, they're lookin' to play games. They're a Division III team from the OHC in Ohio, which is a good baseball conference, and we'll get a good idea of what they can do.

Jon: But these are all games that, we're all kind of in the same boat, being that we're getting outside for the first time. So, I think that there will be some mistakes, there'll be some good things to take from it, but it should be good baseball. And I know all the guys on the field will be excited to play.

Aaron: All right. Well, let's start with pitching staff, perhaps. Obviously, Nolan Collins, sort of the headliner based on his performance in NESCAC play last year, comin' back. What do you expect to from him this year? And who are some other guys you expect to see compete for maybe a rotation spot?

Jon: Yeah, Nolan is a strong returner, obviously. He had a good summer this past summer, in the Futures League. He pitched for Brockton Rox, and did well, so I look for him to get a bulk of innings this year. Strong workhorse, good fastball, definitely competes, likes to pitch in the bright lights, so I look for Nolan to kind of hopefully, steer the ship a little bit.

Jon: Other guys, Justin Foley's returning, got a good amount of innings for us last year. I think he's pretty versatile in what his role can be. I think he can start, I think he can be long relief. I think he could give us the three outs just to connect to the next guy, if we need him to, so he's obviously one that I would look for to get some innings.

Jon: Brendan Smith is another one, a senior right-hander, can start, can probably come in relief, can do a lot of different things. These three guys that I've just mentioned, I plan on getting a start early on in the season to get a look at what they're capable of doing. Alex Simon, obviously, kind of staple bullpen guy from last year, workhorse, loves to pitch in the bright lights, again. Has a good arsenal of pitches, and throws a lot of strikes, and just a tough competitor, so I see him getting some innings this year.

Jon: Miles Michaud is another one that, big, hard-throwin' right-hander. I look for him to come out the pen. And a couple young guys that we got, Ian Tolis is a freshman who's throwin' the ball well, he had a very good high school career. We're lookin' for him to kinda come in and maybe get some innings. And two other guys are Jared Pantalony, who's a left-hander, and Grant Iuliano, who's a big, tall, lanky right-hander that, I look for them to come in and, hopefully, get some innings early on in their career.

Aaron: Yeah, you touched on some of the younger guys, some of the first-year guys comin' in who might make an immediate impact. What do you tell those guys, about the biggest different they might notice right away, College, Division III, NESCAC, versus what they compete against in high school?

Jon: Yeah, I think that, probably the biggest difference is you're gonna face guys that are just older. They're more seasoned, they're just better all-around baseball players. They've been playin' a longer time and have more experience at a higher level, so they're tougher to get out. You're gonna face hitters that can take to get to two strikes and still hit in that situation, where in high school, maybe you don't see that as much. And high school as well, you can blow fastballs by most of the hitters there in the lineup, where you just can't do that in college. The hitters are better, they're stronger, they're more physical, so they're gonna catch up to those kind of things.

Jon: But on the flip side of that, for hitters, I'd say you need to look for pitchers that are gonna locate more than one pitch for strikes consistently. They're gonna change speeds better, and they're just gonna locate their pitches better, they're gonna stay down in the zone more. So, everything is just enhanced to another level from what you see in high school.

Aaron: Awesome. Moving from pitching to position players, we'll start with the catcher's spot. Obviously, that's Jack Arend. I mean, First Team All-NESCAC last year, what to expect to see from him and his development, now moving into, I believe, his junior season?

Jon: Yeah, Jack's a junior captain. Alex Simon's our other captain this year, but Jack is a leader on the field. And he's a general on the field, he plays really hard. He's locked in, he calls a great game, he's a good defensive player. He just brings a good energy every day, when he shows up. And obviously, last year, he had a good year. I mean, he was a First Team All-NESCAC Catcher, and deserving of that, so it was pretty obvious that he was gonna be one of our captains this year. And I look for him to anchor this team, not just our pitching staff. But I look for him to come in and anchor the team, and lead the team to our success this year, which I know he'll do.

Aaron: Well, and another thing he does, he works the count and gets on base a lot.

Jon: Yeah, he does, he does. He works the count, draws a lot of walks, but he's tough to get out of the plate. He just kinda battles and does whatever it takes to get on base.

Aaron: All right, so who are the guys competing for spots to start in the infield, or is almost fairly set, with a lot of guys returning, it seems like?

Jon: Yeah, I think in the infield, we were just kind of lookin' up some things, preparing for next week. And we got a good fielding percentage last year. I mean, we were Top 4 in the region, so I think that we can definitely go for number 1 and have the best fielding percentage in the league. Which, you know, good fielding percentage, if you're gonna catch the ball in the infield, you got a good chance to stay in games and have a chance to win.

Jon: So, Kyle Carter, shortstop, good defensive player, can definitely play shortstop as well as anybody in the conference or in the region. Giovanni Torres, another one, good infielder, versatile, can play third, short, second, can do a lot of different things. Dan Trulli, we're lookin' forward, Dan's a good hitter, offensive player, but we're lookin' for him to play on the corners as well and have his bat.

Jon: A couple newcomers, Andrew Chi is a freshman, middle infielder, good little player. Scrappy, tough at the plate, can make some plays up the middle. And Antonio Jareno is another one who's kind of a utility guy from down in Georgia, and he can pitch a little bit and play some different spots in the field, so we've got some combinations. There could be a lot of moving parts in our defensive scheme this year, but we'll see how it shakes out. It always does.

Aaron: Yeah, well you mentioned Jareno, a guy who can pitch and play the field. I know Jake Shapiro did some of that, maybe even before you were here, Sam Warren did a lot of that for Bates. How do you determine that with a guy comin' in, if they wanna focus on one thing, or still try to do both?

Jon: Well, honestly, it's funny to say this, but it always comes down to hitting. If you're a pitcher and you can hit, then we may have a possibility where you could possibly play somewhere in the field. If you're a pitcher and you can't hit, well you're probably just gonna be a pitcher. That's normally how it shakes out, so Antonio is a tough at-bat, he grinds at the plate. He's got some pop in his bat, he's got a good swing, he can definitely hit. And he can come out of the bullpen for us and pitch some innings, too.

Aaron: Awesome. Now, moving to the outfield, I know you got a transfer comin' from Miami of Ohio. And who are some other guys you expect to see in the outfield this year?

Jon: Right. So Christian Beal is a transfer from Miami of Ohio, speedy outfielder with some pop in his bat. Good player, plays aggressive, plays tough. We're excited for what he's gonna be able to bring to the table this year. Jon Lindgren is another one that's returning, obviously a football player, as well. Brings good energy, can run it down the outfield, we're excited to see what he can do. Will Sylvia's returning, who has been kind of in the outfield as a staple guy for the last couple of years.

Jon: But we've got some newcomers, too. Jareno can play in the outfield, as I mentioned earlier. Kevin Lucey is another one that, I could see him competing for some time and pushin' some guys. We've also got Leo Watson, who can catch and play a little bit in the outfield. We're hopefully expecting him to come in and set the tone for us this year. And Pat Beaton is another one who played in a handful of games last year and did a good job, so we're hopefully gonna get those guys in the game early on, and get an idea of what they're gonna bring to the table this year.

Aaron: And you got DH pretty well set last season, don't you, with White?

Jon: Justin White is definitely capable of sitting in that spot and producing. It was pretty awesome to see what he did last year, to come on strong when we needed him to, and help us make a playoff push at the end of the season. But he can catch, also, and he's just come a long way, and I expect him to settle in and produce for us offensively, for sure.

Aaron: He's a great story, isn't he? 'Cause he really wasn't on the team for the first couple years. And then all of a sudden, last year, second half of the season, he just got red-hot.

Jon: Yeah, you know what? And he was patient with it, and he gave us a chance to shake some things out. He showed up every day and worked hard, kept a good attitude, asked for extra work if he could get it. He did what we needed him to do, and then when we finally gave him his chance, he produced, and that's really what it's about. You know, you get a chance, you get an opportunity, you capitalize on it and do the best you can. And Whitey was able to do that, so it was really good to see him, that he was patient enough. But once he got his opportunity, he capitalized on it. So I look for him to do that, and for any of our players, that when they get that opportunity to come out and give us your best effort, your best energy, and see what you can do.

Aaron: And in the middle of that order, also, you mentioned Trulli before, a guy who's shown some pop during his time here. And you're pretty excited about his potential for a real breakout campaign this season, aren't you?

Jon: Yeah, he's got the ability. He's a big, strong, physical guy, has really worked hard in the weight room. Fun guy to be around, he's just really put in the effort this off-season, so I really hope that he has a great senior year, as I know he will. And I think that he's a good offensive player, he's a leader. He's just a good guy to have around, and I really hope that he has a great senior year for us to send him out on.

Aaron: Excellent. Any other thoughts on this year's team, and what you're more excited about maybe to find out about what they can bring to the table goin' forward, whether it be in Florida or after that, leading into NESCAC play?

Jon: Well, I think that we're gonna be competitive. We're gonna play loose, we're not gonna be uptight. I think that we're going to show up every day, no matter who our competitor is, or who's on the other side of the field. And we're gonna expect to win, I mean, these guys expect to win. And for me, I need to manage the game correctly, and make sure that I push the right buttons when they need to be pushed. But I think that our guys are gonna be locked in, and we've got a good team atmosphere, we're a fun group to be around. We're loose, we like music when it's during BP time, and we pull some pranks here in the dugout and that sort of thing. These guys have really just kinda gelled together, so I think we're gonna have a lot of fun, and also have a lot of success.

Aaron: All right, Jon Martin, thanks so much.

Jon: All right, thanks a lot.

Aaron: The skiing teams competed at the Dartmouth Carnival over the weekend but the alpine team had its giant slalom race postponed until this Sunday. We’ll recap how they do there and at this weekend’s Middlebury Carnival, next time on the Bates Bobcast. We’ll recap team nationals for men’s squash and the NESCAC Championships for women’s swimming. Plus, we’ll continue our spring sports previews by taking a look at the lacrosse teams. All that and more, next time on the Bates Bobcast.