Date Posted:03/21/2008,  3:15PM

Baseball Enjoys Stellar Spring Trip

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College baseball team enjoyed a successful start to their 2008 campaign, winning four straight games to close out a 8-3 spring break trip in Arizona.

After sweeping a doubleheader from Pitt-Bradford to begin their trip (8-0, 17-10), Bowdoin rallied late but eventually fell to fifth-ranked Cortland State, 11-8. The Polar Bears split a twinbill against Central (Iowa) on March 14, winning a 10-9 decision before dropping an 18-13 slugfest. The Polar Bears closed out their first week with a 15-6 win over Dickinson.

Week two started with a doubleheader split against Roger Williams as Bowdoin dropped game one 14-1 before claiming a 5-2 game-two victory. The win sparked the Polar Bears, who won three more contests in a row- including a pair against Hope (5-4, 10-4) and a regional win over Springfield, 11-6.

Bowdoin's bats keyed the early success of the team, as the Polar Bears connected at a .384 clip as a team for the trip. The team scored 103 runs on the trip, earning 100 rbi's and swatting seven home runs and nine triples. Individually, Joe Berte posted a .514 batting average with three homers and 15 rbi's while first-year Brendan Garner earned a .462 average in the leadoff spot with 14 runs scored and three stolen bases. The Bowdoin catchers were outstanding at the plate, as Reid Auger batted .533 with a team-high four doubles in eight games while Brooks Winner hit .636 with two triples in four contests. Senior co-captain Pat Duchette also surpassed the .400 mark, batting .415 with 14 runs batted in.

The Polar Bear pitchers had a team ERA of 7.56, but improved dramatically at the end of the trip, posting a 4.20 mark during the final four-game winning streak. Reliever Sean Kleier grabbed two saves in three appearances with an ERA of 2.08. Starter Ryan Turgeon went 2-0 in two starts with a 2.61 clip while the best start of the trip came courtesy of sophomore Joe Pace's six-inning, two-hit, six-strikeout performance in an 8-0 win over Pitt Bradford.

The Polar Bears will take a week away from games before returning to action next weekend in Connecticut with a key series at NESCAC rival Trinity on March 28-29.