Vol. LXV, No. 25
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
(Photo Courtesy of Haverford College Sports Information)
THE RIGHT STUFF: Colin Sarafin fires the ball in action this spring in his senior campaign for the Haverford College (Pa.) baseball team. Sarafin, a former Princeton High star, went 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA this spring in earning first-team All-Centennial Conference recognition as the Fords went 32-10. Sarafin ended with a career 18-6 record to rank third all-time in wins for Haverford. The 60, 195-pound righthander ended up second in career appearances (49) and third in total innings pitched (226.0).
When Colin Sarafin joined the Haverford College (Pa.) baseball program in 2007, he envisioned himself as an everyday player.
Recruited as a third baseman and pitcher after a stellar career at Princeton High, Sarafin was given a shot at both positions in fall ball as a freshman.
The Haverford coaching staff decided that Sarafin would be more valuable to the squad as a pitcher and he was told to focus on developing his mound skills.
I didnt know what my role was going to be; I batted pretty well that fall but I was pitching out of my mind, recalled Sarafin.
The coaches let me know that my role was going to be pitching; as an 18-year-old you think you can do anything, so I was disappointed at the time.
Making the most of his assigned role, Sarafin emerged as one of the top pitchers in program history. He completed his senior season last month sporting a career 18-6 record to rank third all-time in wins for Haverford. The 60, 195-pound righthander ended up second in career appearances (49) and third in total innings pitched (226.0).
Upon throwing himself into pitching full-time, Sarafin quickly saw that he had a lot to learn.
Once the season rolled around and I focused on pitching, I realized that role was important and time-consuming, said Sarafin, who went 2-1 with a save and 43 strikeouts in 53 innings as a freshman.
I had to get the finer points down; the nuances of the game. I learned little things like controlling the running game and knowing situations; doing set plays that you didnt have in high school.
Haverford head coach Dave Beccaria liked the way Sarafin progressed in his debut season.
From the beginning, Colin was a big part of the team, said Beccaria. He started out in the bullpen. He was so effective in that role that we moved him into a starting role. By the end of the year, he was the starting pitcher in the conference semifinal game. That was a big game for us and we won it.
It was how Sarafin competed in the 10-9 win over Franklin and Marshall that Beccaria will never forget. Colin had a tough start in that game and then he took a line drive off of his pitching shoulder, recalled Beccaria.
He had a horrible bruise but he didnt want to come out. He stayed in and pitched better after that. It spoke volumes about his toughness and competitiveness.
As a sophomore, Sarafin had to learn how to harness his competitive drive.
That was my roughest season; I learned a lot of lessons, said Sarafin.
It was more emotional than physical. Coach talks about having an even keel on the mound and I did a below average job of that.
Things clicked for Sarafin in his junior campaign as he went 7-0 with a 3.25 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.
I dont know what happened; I was just ready to perform, said Sarafin, who started the spring with 14 scoreless innings and went on to earn second-team All-Centennial Conference honors.
Everything came together, emotionally, physically, and with my role on the team. I was really comfortable on the mound.
As a senior, Sarafin took on a greater leadership role for Haverford, getting elected as a team captain.
I learned in the summer after my junior year; it meant a lot and it was humbling, said Sarafin, reflecting on his reaction upon learning that he had been named captain.
It created certain tasks; I was more of a liaison between the team and the coaches. It didnt change my work ethic or attitude towards the team. That was why I was voted as captain.
Beccaria, for his part, wasnt surprised to see Sarafin chosen as captain. The guys respect his toughness; he is a pitcher who always wants the ball, asserted Beccaria, who has posted a 233-167-2 record in his 11 seasons guiding Haverford.
He doesnt shy away from the tough moments; he gives a gutsy effort in the tough spots. He started to take a leadership role in the pitchers workouts.
Sarafin enjoyed some great moments in his final campaign at Haverford. I was really happy about this year, said Sarafin, who went 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA and earned first-team all-conference recognition as the Fords went 32-10.
It wasnt about any individual; we had a tight knit team. The senior class contributed a lot on and off the field. The defense and hitting behind me was great.
In Beccarias view, Sarafin made a key contribution to the teams chemistry and success.
He set a positive tone for the rest of the pitchers; we had a lot of success as a pitching staff and part of it was Colin putting other guys in a position to succeed, said Beccaria.
It wont be the same without him. The seniors are the winningest class in program history (100-57); they left the program in a better state than when they came.
For Sarafin, playing for the Haverford program proved to be one of the better decisions of his life.
I have only had a month to reflect; I had a great career, asserted Sarafin, a psychology major who will be doing some coaching this summer as he decides on his future.
If I had to do it all over again, I would go to Haverford. I had great teammates in seven classes. I really appreciated getting an experience like that.
And those teammates certainly appreciated the toughness and skill Sarafin brought to the mound over his career.
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