This Weekend in Division II — February 26, 2015

Division 2 has seen its fair share of sweeps this season. In the first few weekends, New England was really taking it on the chin. Through the end of Valentine’s Day weekend, the region had gone a combined 0-17 in six separate sweeps. That’ll happen when you start two weeks before D1 but don’t have the same indoor facilities to prep in. Playing nationally ranked teams like Tampa, Mount Olive, and Nova Southeastern doesn’t help either.

All that changed in a big way this past weekend. The NE-10’s Northeast Division led the charge down in Myrtle Beach at the Ripken Experience Challenge. Franklin Pierce, Southern New Hampshire, and Stonehill led the charge, going 14-1 and outscoring their opponents 118-36. Preseason Southwest Division favorite Southern Connecticut broke even at 2-2 at the same tournament. Post swept a doubleheader from Alderson Broaddus a few hours up the coast in North Carolina. Some teams are still waiting to get things going, but if no more weather casualties roll in, 6 of them will get on a diamond.

Heading South

Three teams who’ll definitely be playing this weekend are Post, Saint Anselm, and Assumption.

The CACC’s Eagles head south for the third time, having lost two to Chowan and taken two from Alderson Broaddus the last two weekends. They’ve also got the toughest dancecard of the three. Two each with Stonehill and #26 Lynn, as well as one each with Felician and Southern New Hampshire. Plenty of chances the CACC’s fourth-place preseason team to make a statement.

Next up are the Hawks, who’ve got a balanced week, with six against Northern teams and four against Sunshine State Conference opponents. Despite being picked seventh in the division, they’re coming off a respectable showing against a top-10 Mount Olive club. (Have I mentioned how good the Northeast Division is?) They should be able to take a few wins back north.

Finally, Assumption gets back on the field Friday night against Rollins, kicking off a nine-game week in Central Florida. The Greyhounds have the easiest slate of the three, which includes three with Concordia (NY) for three and two with Saint Rose. Assumption’s pitching staff (12th in the NE-10 in ERA in 2014) got a week one boost from Steve Flynn, a junior football player in his first year on the team. Against a top-15 Florida Tech team, he went six, struck out five, and gave up only two runs on three hits. That caliber of performance will get the Hounds wins on this trip.

Meanwhile Up North…

The Florida forecast is 70s with a bit of rain for this weekend. The other three teams with games scheduled will be lucky to see 20s in the New York City area. Franklin Pierce, Bentley, and AIC will all be itching to get on the field, though for very different reasons. The Ravens are coming off a 5-0 romp in Myrtle Beach and will look to continue that against LIU Post and Mercy. Bentley will be eager to get the sour taste of two straight one-run losses out of their mouths against Pace. And if AIC’s able to play against Nyack, it’ll be their first competitive game of the year. I don’t know much about the fields at those places, so these games could be sure bets on already plowed turf, or hours away from being called. I’ll try to keep things updated here.

Still Waiting

Saint Michael’s scheduled start isn’t until next weekend, when they’ve slated pair of doubleheaders down at Molloy and Felician. New Haven cancelled its scheduled Friday doubleheader at Mercy. Next up on their schedule is a March 4 date with Yale, but since they both play on grass, we’ll have to see about that one. Finally, Merrimack was supposed to head down to Yaphank for three with Southern Connecticut, but they called off the series on Wednesday afternoon. The Warriors will have to wait for their 12-game Florida/North Carolina trip the following week.

Links

AIC’s the lone club getting their season underway, and their SID’s have a season preview up. Elsewhere, the Keene Sentinel has a roundup of Franklin Pierce’s time in Myrtle Beach. From a couple weeks back, a nice piece on the start of Stonehill’s season from The Brockton Enterprise‘s Jim Fenton. And from down south, Florida Today has a recap of the Florida Tech-Assumption series.

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