CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA/TEWKSBURY — Jack Theriault is old school. He certainly proved that the entire season but more so in the last few weeks.
A junior (but sophomore athletically), Theriault and his Babson College Baseball team finished up a historical season. The team finished with a 39-10 record, which included participating in the program’s first Division 3 College World Series, which came after sweeping two games in the Super Regionals as well as winning the NEWMAC Championship title.
Before the team took the trip to Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Theriault, a former TMHS star pitcher, had appeared in just seven games all season and sported good numbers on the mound with a 1.35 ERA. He didn't participate in any of the World Series games and in fact his last appearance came on April 29th, and not for one second did that ever bother him.
"I don't have any complaints," he said on Tuesday night a few hours after the team got back home. "I played on a team that was part of a program history season. We advanced to the College World Series and we wish we could have won more games, but we had an unbelievable season.
“All of us were so thrilled to have been able to punch our ticket and get to the World Series. All of us just took everything in from the opening ceremonies to facing some nationally ranked programs, just everything.
"We knew all along that we were a talented team and had hoped we could get that far. I know I'm just so thrilled and fortunate to be a part of the awesome culture that we had and to be part of this team. I'm so happy to have had this experience."
From March 17-April 29, Theriault pitched in seven games, tossing 6.2 innings, giving up just one earned run on nine hits, while walking three and striking out six.
"Jack didn't get a ton of action, but I thought he improved a lot," said head coach Matt Noone, who is also the cousin of Maureen Noone, the newly elected Andover High Hall of Fame Field Hockey coach. "He threw some pretty good games for us, especially against Trinity down in Texas. He is a team guy, who contributed on a team that had a historical season.
“The problem with Jack was we had a couple of seniors ahead of him who had some terrific seasons, but certainly the next two seasons he's going to have more opportunities to gain more experience."
Theriault was asked about those opportunities.
"I was given some opportunites and sometimes I made the most of them and sometimes I didn't make the most of them," he said. "All I cared about was wins and being a part of the team. Whenever, I lost an opportunity, then it gave one of my teammates one and I was in full support because it helped our team win and that's what every single player on the team only cared about.
“It was such a thrill and so much fun to be a part of this team and go down fighting with your brothers."
Babson swept Cortland in both games of the Super Regionals to qualify for the Series. There the team played three games, losing two close battles to John Hopkins, 6-5 and 7-6 in 10 innings, while winning a crazy come from behind walk-off, 6-5 win over Heidelberg. Babson trailed 3-1 throughout most of the game and then were down 5-1 going to their last at bat before scoring five runs, including the game winning hit coming with two outs and two strikes.
"That was crazy but we had games like that throughout the entire season," said Theriault. "We had one in the conference tournament where we won it on a walk-off grand slam and we had a lot of crazy back-and-forth games like that all season. We just always battled and never, ever quit and I was so proud to be a part of it."
Therault appeared in those seven games, facing Trinity, Vassar, Framingham State, Roger Williams, Emerson, UMass-Dartmouth and Western New England.
"The Trinity game was good for me. I felt like I belonged," he said. "Then (against Vassar), I was put in a tough spot and didn't make some quality pitches, but then later on (in the season) I had some success. I'm happy with what happened. Winning games was all that mattered and I'm just so happy that I had such great teammates to enjoy the team's success with."
With nine games under his belt, Theriault should have more chances to pitch and contribute the next two years.
"He probably throws in the mid 80s with his fastball and he has to improve his curveball," said Noone. "He's a good athlete. He hit for us a little bit as a freshman until he started to settle in as a pitcher. He's a good competitor, he's a good teammate and this year was a role player on a championship team."