Spring '96 Season Summary

Spring 1996



Baseball (9-14) Fights Late Start, Difficult Schedule

It seemed as if the 1996 baseball team was regularly playing teams which had already played 10 more games than they had. In the early going, coach Bob Flynn's squad was able to stay close to the .500 mark thanks to a doubleheader sweep over Maine-Presque Isle and an impressive performance by junior DH/pitcher Jeff Barricelli (Beverly, Mass.) against Colby-Sawyer, in which he pitched 3 1/3 innings of hitless relief to get the win while going 4-4 with a home run and two RBI at the plate. After completing one stretch of seven games in five days, the Bobcats had their best streak of the season, taking three in a row from Maine-Farmington and Middlebury. In that season-high winning streak, the Bobcats were paced by sophomore righty Chris Snow's (Tewksbury, Mass.) 6-0 shutout of Middlebury and a string of eight straight hits by junior outfielder Brian Walsh (Merrimack, N.H.). Unfortunately, they could not sustain the momentum and dropped the last seven of the season, including losses to highly regarded teams such as Southern Maine, Wesleyan and Trinity.

Men's Lacrosse

Men's Lacrosse (7-8) Ends NESCAC Drought , Finishes Season Among Top Ten

In his first season at the helm of the Bates men's lacrosse team, Al Brown began the process of returning the program to the success it had attained in the late1980s. After starting the season with six straight games away from home, including a1-1 trip to Arizona, the Bobcats returned to Garcelon Field to take on Wesleyan. Their 8-6 win over the Cardinals marked the first time since 1990 that Bates had defeated a NESCAC opponent. Four of the Bobcats' eight goals in that game were scored by junior attack Tim Brady (Manchester, Mass.). In honor of his effort in that game and his s even goals the previous game against Maine Maritime, Brady was named NESCAC Player of the Week. Bates went on to win its next two home games as well, thanks to two five-goal performances by senior tri-captain and attack Rob Toomey (Annapolis, Md.) against the University of New England and MIT. Though they lost four of their last five games, the lone win in that stretch, a 14-12 decision over New England College, solidified their ranking in the Brine New England lacrosse poll, where they ended the season ninth, the highest season-ending ranking for the team in the 1990s. Also in that streak, senior tri-captain and goalie Matt Arsenault (Orland, Maine) twice broke the school record for saves in a game. At season's end, Toomey and senior tri-captain and long-stick middie James Smith (Ridgewood, N.J.) were selected to play in the Brine New England East/West All-Star game and Smith was named second-team All-New England by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Women's Lacrosse

Women's Lacrosse (4-6) Fate Decided by One-Goal Games

Though they were ranked 11th by some preseason polls, the women's lacrosse team had trouble with their NESCAC schedule. Seven NESCAC teams reached the post-season, with three of those going to the NCAAs. One of the big factors in the Bobcats' record was a pair of one-goal losses. Coach Stacey Watts' team opened the season with a tight 9-7 win over Wellesley, which was preserved by some excellent goalkeeping by first-year player 'Cil Bloomfield (Exeter, N.H.) in her first-ever lacrosse game. After an 18-3 drubbing of Eastern Connecticut, the Bobcats took on Trinity. In a 16-15 loss to the Bantams, Bates fell behind in the second quarter before rallying to tie it in the last four minutes of the half and then fell behind by three late in the fourth quarter before a valiant comeback effort fell just short. A week later at Bowdoin, the Polar Bears managed to score a goal in the last 15 seconds of the game to win 17-16, despite a season-high five goals from Bates' leading scorer, junior Lydia Langford (Wellesley, Mass.). The only other Bates player to score five goals in a game was senior tri-captain and leading goal-scorer Jodi Kopke (Duxbury, Mass.) inthe season finale with Connecticut College. Kopke and Langford , along with senior defender Kendra Phelps (Goffstown, N.H.) were all named All-New England.


Softball (4-18) Endures a Long Season

The softball team was one of the youngest coach Sherry Deschaine had in years and spent much of the season adjusting to one another and getting pitching problems under control. Thanks to the big bat of junior co-captain Heather Chichester (Enfield, N.H.), who hovered around the .500 mark for much of the season and led the team in nearly all offensive categories, the Bobcats gave their best effort all season. Half of their wins came at the hands of Bowdoin, as Bates finished second in the CBB. Chichester won NESCAC Player of the Week honors for the week of April 30, during which she hit .631 (12-19) with four doubles, five runs scored and two RBI. The pitching staff was led by first-year hurler Becky Gasior (Park Ridge, N.J.) who earned three of the team's four wins, including two in her last three starts.

Men's Tennis

Men's Tennis (13-3) Receives First-Ever NCAA Berth in Wigton's Last Season

In the last of his 30 years at Bates, men's tennis coach George Wigton received a send-off like no other. After finishing the regular season at 12-2, the Bobcats earned their first ever bid to the NCAA Division III men's tennis championships and Wigton was named East Region Coach of the Year. It also capped an outstanding career for the class of 1996, who graduate with a four-year record of 49-8, the best of any single class in Bates history. The team won their first-round NCAA match with Haverford, 5-2, before bowing to top-seeded Williams in the second round. The squad finished fourth at the NESCAC championships with senior Mark Erelli (Reading, Mass.) the runner-up in the No. 2 flight. Senior Dylan Stearns (Brattleboro, Vt.) earned the Clarence Chaffee Award for sportsmanship at NESCACs, and the team's No. 3 seed went on to take the State of Maine singles and doubles championship the next week, teaming wit h Jeff Poleshek (Madison, Conn.) to take the doubles. As they end their careers, Erelli, Stearns and Poleshek rank third through fifth on Bates' all-time career singles win list, while fellow senior Jeff Zink (Wooster, Ohio) is third on the career doubles w ins list. Sophomore Lonnie Klein (Riverdale, N.Y.) and first-year player and 20-match winner Brian Kend (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) return next year for the Bobcats.

Men's Outdoor Track and Field

Men's Outdoor Track and Field Takes State of Maine Championship

The men's outdoor track and field team had enormous success under first-year head coach Al Fereshetian. At the State of Maine championships, the Bobcats took home the team title for the first time since 1967. Leading the way for Bates was sophomore Walter Jackson (Hartford, Conn.), who won the Frederick Tootell Award for outstanding field performer at the meet with his winning performances in the shot put and discus throws. Later in the season, the Bobcats finished third at the NESCAC championships, a dramatic improvement over the previous year's 10th-place finish. Two team members qualified for the NCAA championships, senior Jon Eden (Glenwood, Ill.) and sophomore Paul Kolter (Manchester, N.H.). They finished 15th and 12th respectivel y in the hammer throw.

Women's Outdoor Track and Field

Women's Outdoor Track and Field Led by Bumps

Though the team's performance was hurt by several key members taking Short Term classes abroad, several individuals made their mark. Junior Heather Bumps (Albion, Maine) led the way in the javelin, defeating all Division III New England opponents and taking home All-America honors by finishing third overall at the NCAA championships, establishing a school record with a throw of 144 feet, 7 inches. First-year long jumper A.T. Taylor (Orono, Maine) joined Bumps in taking All-New England honors, finishing second in her event and also establishing a school record with a leap of 17 feet, 1 1/2 inches. The Bobcats placed in six events at the ECAC championships to finish eighth out of 34 teams. Bumps and Taylor both placed in their specialties at the ECACs, while senior Megan Lane (Portland, Maine) and sophomore Abigail Phelps (Chester, N.H.) finished fourth and fifth in the 10,000 meters, senior Kirsten Achenbach (Okinawa, Japan) was sixth in the 1,500 meters and th e 4x800 relay team was fourth.

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Last modified: 7/1/96 by pd