After a light weekend last week, there’ll be plenty of D2 action as we head into the first weekend of March. 12 of the 13 teams are scheduled to play. Most of them will wrap up or kick off Florida trips, but there’ll be some baseball for those of you in the Haverhill and Rindge areas too. Here’s what’s on tap.
In the midweek
Down in Florida, Assumption, Southern New Hampshire, and Saint Anselm all picked up multiple wins. After dropping a one-run decision to Concordia (NY) on Monday, the Greyhounds came back to get wins against Saint Rose and the same Concordia team. In a 7-2 win against Saint Rose, Ben O’Donnell’s 4-5 day led a 13-hit attack, and Steve Flynn struck out ten and allowed only a run over seven. Flynn, as I mentioned last week, is a football junior in his first year with the team, and early signs are that he’ll be a big boost to Assumption’s rotation (h/t to @KevinKMurphy for the info). The next day against Concordia, freshman Andrew Jaehnig started the scoring with his first collegiate home run, and the Greyhounds held on to win a back-and-forth 6-5 affair. The Penmen, also in Florida, have picked up a pair of solid 6-0 wins against Post and Felician. Alex Person and Rob del Signore were credited with the wins. Saint A’s, meanwhile, swept a Wednesday doubleheader to record their first two wins of the season. In an all-New England matchup with Assumption, a Greyhounds error let the Hawks break a 4-4 tie, and they went on to win 5-4. Nick Bragole knocked out four hits. Later that day, Saint Anselm rode a great start from Joseph Levasseur (7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB) to the sweep in a 5-2 win over Rollins.
Regionally ranked matchups
Franklin Pierce, the East Region’s top-ranked team and #7 nationally (per @D2BaseballNews), opens up in New England with three games this weekend. They’ll play Saint Michael’s in Haverhill for the Purple Knights’ season opener on Saturday, then take on Queens in a home doubleheader on Sunday. Southern Connecticut, after some schedule shuffling, will also be in Haverhill getting games in this weekend. Temperatures should hover around freezing both days.
Southern New Hampshire, hanging on to the #5 slot in D2Baseball’s regional rankings, wraps up its Florida trip with a doubleheader against LIU Post. The ECC’s Pioneers get their season underway Friday against Post.
A pair of New England teams will see the region’s #2, St. Thomas Aquinas, down in Florida this coming week. As you’ll remember, the Spartans recovered from an opening-game loss to win the East Region last year, and they looked poised for another strong campaign. Bentley will play them on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and Stonehill will see them for another three on Wednesday (x2) and Thursday.
Heading back north
A few teams wrap up southern trips this weekend and head back north to start waiting for the snow to melt. Southern New Hampshire, Post, Assumption, and Saint Anselm will all wrap up their time in Florida. Saint Anselm and Assumption face each other for the second time on Saturday before heading home, and Post finishes up with a doubleheader against Stonehill, who’ll be arriving to start their trip this weekend.
Opening day… finally
Apart from Saint Michael’s, who was scheduled not to start their season up until this Saturday, a few other teams have had their openers delayed. AIC, who put off games in New York and New Jersey, will get down to Florida for a trip that features #13 Nova Southeastern. Merrimack and Southern Connecticut had a series in Yaphank cancelled last weekend. The Warriors get to head south for a week highlighted by a Sunday doubleheader with Wilmington. Finally, New Haven heads down to Queens for a Saturday doubleheader to get their season going.
Craig Forde of the New England Baseball Journal had a great piece in their March issue about Merrimack’s Frank Crinella. The Nova Southeastern team that AIC faces this week combined to no-hit Felician on Tuesday, a story that made USA Today. The Northeast-10 put out its weekly release for the light slate of games last weekend.