Adversity is inevitable and inescapable and, in many ways, knows no bounds. Regardless of sport, team, or season, adversity will strike, and the response will vary.
The baseball team was approaching the midway point of its regular season, standing 10-8 after winning two of three games from conference rival Wheaton College. What transpired next will forever stay with the program, as Babson lost one of its brothers with the passing of pitcher Daniel Cooney ’19. The team’s response over the next 26 games was remarkable.
“When adversity struck, the true character of these young men was revealed,” says head coach Matt Noone. “They were so strong dealing with the sadness on a personal level, but more importantly they were steadfast in the love and support they showed one another. In the darkest moments, they were the epitome of a team.”
After dropping five of their next eight games, the Beavers united to win a program-best 13 straight games, becoming the most successful baseball team in school history. Claiming a share of the NEWMAC regular season title, the Beavers swept Wheaton and MIT to capture their third league tournament crown. They then went on to secure a program record for wins and appear in their first NCAA regional championship game.
Babson finished its historic campaign with a 29-15 record, claiming victory in four NCAA Tournament games. “This year’s team was so special because of the bond we all shared,” says pitcher Ken Rotunno ’17. “We truly wanted each other to perform well, even if that meant less playing time for ourselves. We loved any time we were on the ball field and didn’t take any second for granted.”
Noone had a hunch this team was special after seeing their commitment and work ethic in the winter and spring. “Words can’t express how proud I was to be a part of this group,” he says. “We trailed in games and never gave up. We made big plays when it mattered most. We found ways to win tight ballgames. And we did it all with a heavy heart. I will never forget Dan, and I will always remember the way in which his friends and teammates persevered and won this season.”—Scott Dietz, associate director of athletics