“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 email@example.com.