The Swarthmore baseball team has gotten off to a very hot start the year. After starting the year 1-2, the team has won eleven of their past twelve contests, including a big win over then-first ranked Wooster. The Garnet offense has been perhaps the best in the country this season, with the team scoring an average of almost twelve runs per game. The offensive attack has been led by outfielder Holden Bridge ’20, who is currently batting a very impressive .469 on the year. He was especially hot over the team’s spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Florida, after which he was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Week and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Hitter of the Week. The Garnet have a home matchup against Elizabethtown on Friday, and then begin Centennial Conference play on Saturday with a doubleheader against 16-2 Washington College.
Jack Corkery: What is your major, and what led you to choose to study this field?
Holden Bridge: I’m a Computer Science major with a minor in Statistics. Coding and data analysis is something I am very interested in, and it is what I want to do after graduation.
JC: Why did you choose to attend Swarthmore?
HB: I wanted to attend an elite school while still being able to play baseball. Swarthmore was the best school that recruited me, so it quickly became my top choice.
JC: You were abroad in the fall. What did you do to stay prepared for the baseball season?
HB: I was Copenhagen, Denmark where there is no baseball. However Danish people generally live a really healthy lifestyle. I biked or walked almost everywhere I went. I was also able to go to the gym four-to-five times a week with the increase in free time.
JC: What has been your biggest change in approach at the plate this season?
HB: I just try to do something positive in every at bat. That could mean making the pitcher throw a lot of pitches, hitting a sacrifice fly, or bunting to put pressure on the other team’s defense. Simplifying the game in this way has helped me approach every at bat with a set goal in mind.
JC: How does it feel to be named National Hitter of the Week?
HB: It is kind of a strange feeling. Last year, at this time I would have never imagined winning that award. While it is very nice for being recognized when you play well, my main focus is always playing hard and helping the team win in any way I can.
JC: What is your favorite Swarthmore Baseball memory?
HB: My favorite Swarthmore Baseball memory was winning the Centennial Conference championship game last year against Johns Hopkins. The game was played on Worthstock and the atmosphere created by the fans was incredible. Johns Hopkins is a bitter rival and coming back in the late innings to win on a walk-off and end their season was the best feeling in the world. It is also a pretty amazing feeling to win the programs first Centennial Conference championship.
JC: What is the biggest difference between this year’s and last year’s teams?
HB: I think the biggest difference is experience. Last year’s team was full of many firsts for our program, and we only lost a handful of players from that team. I think we saw what it takes to win against the best team in Division III last year and have been able to take that and apply it so far this year.
JC: Do you have any personal or team goals for the remainder of the season?
HB: The team has gotten a lot of attention compared to recent years which makes it easy for us to look too far ahead. I think our first goal should be getting into the Centennial Conference playoffs. From there we can adjust our goals accordingly and hopefully have a chance to compete for a national championship again.