April 13, 2013

Oliver Van Zant Throws Fifth No-Hitter in Bowdoin History as Baseball Beats Colby

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Senior Oliver Van Zant threw the fifth no-hitter in Bowdoin's 146-year baseball history on Saturday in a 7-0 victory over Colby.

The school's career strikeout leader, Van Zant allowed just two Mules to reach base - both on clear errors - and struck out 11 batters to earn the victory. It is the just the second nine-inning no-hitter in Bowdoin history, joining Leland Means '12 no-hit effort against Bates in 1911.

He also joins Paul Clifford '54 (six innings vs. Maine in 1952), Pat Ryan '96 (seven innings vs. Colby in 1993) and Ricky Leclerc '06 (rain-shortened six innings vs. Williams in 2005) as the Polar Bears to have thrown no-no's.

Winners of five straight games, Bowdoin improves to 14-9 (5-2 NESCAC) with the win while the Mules fall to 7-9 (0-4 NESCAC). The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday in Waterville beginning at noon.

Colby had a runner reach in the fifth when Luke Duncklee's grounder to short was fielded cleanly by Aaron Rosen, but his in-time throw pulled Luke Regan off the bag at first base. He was immediately erased on a double-play by Nathan Ellis. In the sixth inning, Ben Crocker got to first base when a high chopper fielded by Van Zant was thrown high of the first base bag, accounting for Bowdoin's second error of the afternoon.

That would be all that Colby could muster as the senior from Westport, Connecticut, got stronger as the game wore on. Van Zant struck out five of the final six batters he faced, including striking out the side in the ninth.

Bowdoin got all the offense it would need in the second inning when Dan Findley doubled down the right field line to bring home Luke Regan. Sam Canales then hit a grounder to first that scored Rosen to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. The Polar Bears put the game out of reach with a four-run fourth inning, keyed by a bases-clearing double from John Lefeber.

Dan Findley went 2-4 with two RBI to lead Bowdoin. Rosen reached base twice and scored both times. Duncan Taylor caught all nine innings behind the plate for the Polar Bears and also collected a hit and a run.

No-Hitters in Bowdoin Baseball History
1911 - Leland Means '12 vs. Bates (4-0, nine innings)
1952 - Paul Clifford '54 vs. Maine (5-0, six innings)
1993- Pat Ryan '96 vs. Colby (3-0, seven innings)
2005 - Ricky Leclerc '06 vs. Williams (2-0, six innings)
2013 - Oliver Van Zant '13 vs. Colby (7-0, nine innings)