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Freshman Earns Top Billing

Despite brief collegiate resume, Cole has risen to top of Crimson rotation

COLE HARD CASH
Alexandra C. Bell

With just four collegiate starts under his belt, freshman Adam Cole has already solidified his status as one of the premier starters in the league, silencing Penn through eight shutout innings on Saturday.

After only four collegiate starts, freshman pitcher Adam Cole has solidified his spot as one of the top starters in the Crimson lineup, if not the league. Cole (2-2) befuddled the Penn batters on Saturday, blanking them through eight innings of four-hit ball with a strong fastball and dancing slider.

“I can’t say enough about him,” sophomore catcher Matt Kramer said. “He’s a gamer and a gritty pitcher. He’s got some nasty stuff—a great fastball and a devastating slider with tons of movement that really mixes hitters up.”

In the doubleheader against the Quakers, Cole combined with sophomore Shawn Haviland, who suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the first game, to allow only one run over 15 innings. The Penn hitters never looked comfortable at the plate, and failed to mount a serious threat all game. The dominant pitching performances on Saturday set the tone for the weekend and helped Harvard go 3-4 for the weekend against Ivy League opponents.

This weekend’s performance came on the heels of an equally impressive display for Cole, who, in his previous start, struck out 11 Princeton batters in 7.2 innings en route to an 8-2 victory to score his first collegiate win.

“He’s really been settling in recently,” Kramer said. “He’s getting a little more comfortable and realizing that he’s an important part of this team.”

The season did not start as smoothly for the freshman.

In the first game of the season, the hurler gave up four runs in a 12-6 loss to the Florida Gators, then the No. 13th ranked team in the nation. Although Cole surrendered two runs through the first five innings, which included an impressive stint in which 15 of 16 Gators were retired, a series of hits in the sixth chased him from the game.

Although the beginning may have been less than perfect, Cole seems to have settled into his role as a consistent, solid starter for the Crimson.

Both coaches and teammates welcome the development and are impressed by the freshman’s composure and maturity.

“He’s good,” Haviland said. “I was impressed with him. For a freshman to come out there and throw two games in a row like that—I mean, they didn’t have a shot all day.”

The team hopes that opposing hitters will not have a shot at Cole for the rest of the season. If Cole repeats his performance of this past weekend, the hope seems likely to turn into a reality.

—Staff writer Julie R.S. Fogarty can be reached at fogarty2@fas.harvard.edu.

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