Hawks hitting their stride


Chloe Noyes/The Hawks' Herald

Ben Bonavita locks in for the next pitch. He was one of the eight seniors honored on Senior Day.

A dominant Senior Day showing and an out-of-conference victory by the baseball team was enough to maintain the Hawks’ third-place position in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) as of April 27, with postseason action rapidly approaching.

A doubleheader victory on the special day over Wentworth Institute of Technology by 20 and 10 runs respectively happened by way of potent pitching performances from graduate students Justin Garcia and Chris Flynn and aggressive at-bats by the senior led cast.

Following the commanding victories, the Hawks traveled to the University of Massachusetts Boston for a matchup under the lights, again, capturing another victory behind formidable pitching by senior Kyle Schafer to extend the Hawks’ winning streak to eight games.

“Our biggest strengths are our depth, the veteran leadership we possess, and the culture of the baseball team as a whole,” said Kevin Kelley, head coach of the baseball team in an email response. “We play very good defense, we hit, and we pitch well. The leadership demonstrated by our upperclassmen and captains is definitely a bonus.”

Along with the current eight-game winning streak the Hawks are on as of April 27, the team also rattled off a winning streak of 10 games to start the season and seven games following a brief setback. During the stretch from March 5 to April 2, the Hawks flexed a 17-1 record.

“Every time we step onto the field, whether we are home or away we are 0-0,” said Kelley. “The confidence we possess comes from our preparation throughout the week. We are constantly reminding the guys that we need to practice how we play; we can’t have an average week of practice and expect to play great on game day.”

The success under Kelley is nothing new for the Hawks. In his second season at the helm, the Hawks have earned back-to-back 20-win seasons. Besides cracking the national rankings for the first time in program history, the team has also won the third-most games in a season in their history so far this season.

With the CCC Tournament less than two weeks away, the focus for the team is simple — it’s all about them, what they can control and how they can prepare.

“Just focus on us. We firmly believe that the only team out there that can beat us is the name written across our chest,” said Kelley.

The Hawks made the short trip to Salve Regina University for a conference matchup on April 27, which they tied with earlier in the season after play was suspended due to darkness. They will look to defend Paolino Field on April 28 against Eastern Connecticut State University. The first pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.