Top 5 Moments of an Amazing Season with Babson Baseball
During the last year, I got the opportunity to serve as a student manager with Babson’s varsity baseball team, and in the process be a part of the most successful season in program history. As a globally-renowned business school Babson is not typically celebrated for its athletics but in recent years the college has fielded one of the top baseball programs in Division III and the New England region.
Led by outgoing senior slugger Ryan Arena ‘18, who hit a program record 22 home runs over the last two seasons, and rising senior second basemen/pitcher and captain Connor Gill ‘19, the Beavers finished with 35-12 win/loss record. In addition to setting the school record for wins, Babson won the NEWMAC championship for the just the second time in program history and advanced all the way to the NCAA Division III semifinals, coming within a game of the D3 World Series.
As a student manager, I was present in the dugout for almost every Beaver home game, and as a result, I experienced first hand the memorable highs and lows of an unforgettable season. Here are my top 5 moments of a season with the Beaver 9.
- My first game in the dugout early in the season, which saw the Green and White cruise to a 17-1 victory. The team opened its season with a series of tournament games in Flordia in early March, so this was my introduction to Babson baseball. Although not the most riveting matchup from a competition standpoint, it was a memorable opening to the season and a harbinger of the success still to come.
- The team’s record-setting 26-1 victory over WPI on April 5th, which set a program record for most runs in a single game. This was by far the largest margin of victory the Beavers faced all season, and although the later innings was somewhat of an uncompetitive slog to get through, this was easily the team’s most complete all-around game of the season.
- The walk-off win over Wheaton on April 8th, which the Green and White won in dramatic fashion, 8-7 on a game-ending home run by senior Ryan Arena ‘18. This was one of several memorable victories over rival Wheaton, who had beaten Babson to claim the NEWMAC Championship the last few seasons. The Beavers punctuated the electric contest by scoring five unanswered runs in the bottom of the ninth, which ultimately put them in position to clinch the division later in the season.
- Over spring break I was able to travel with the team for their week of games in Auburndale, Florida, which was a great bonding experience and an opportunity to see some of the team’s early-season struggles. The Beavers went just 4-4 in the eight Florida contests, at one point losing four in a row, but they showed trademark resiliency by winning the final game of the trip which then carried into the rest of the playoff run.
- Charging the mound after the team’s 11-5 victory over rival Wheaton on May 6th to clinch the second NEWMAC championship in school history. This game was meaningful not only for clinching a spot in the NCAA playoffs but also for finally downing Wheaton, which had beaten Babson in the same situation the previous season.
Being involved with Babson athletics was one of the highlights of my freshman year and created friends and memories that will last forever.