Biggest weekend yet guys. A division to decide in the Ivy League, a three-way battle for the final playoff spot in the NE-10 Northeast, and five tournament tickets to punch in D3. Buckle up, and if you’re not playing in one, get yourself to a game.
Playoffs! After Babson and Coast Guard kicked things off today, we’ve got full slates of conference tournament action in the NEWMAC and NECC to look forward to this weekend. That also means that we’ll have regular-season champions crowned and playoff spots decided all over D3. Add that to the top 4 facing off in the NE-10 Northeast and decisive weekends in the Rolfe Division, Patriot League, and NEC, and we’ve got a heck of a weekend to look forward to.
(Apologies for the delay in getting this out– the conference tournament previews set me back a bit. As a result I’ll only be focusing on Saturday and Sunday games in this post.)
Somehow it’s the last full week of April, and we’ve been blessed with another weekend of sunshine to enjoy some great baseball all around the region. D3 takes center stage, with two key series in the NEWMAC that’ll decide a division title and a playoff spot. We’ll also hit up the GNAC, NECC, CCC, NAC, and Little East for matchups that’ll go a long way towards deciding conference standings at year’s end. In D1, we’ll preview big weekends for Quinnipiac, Bryant, Dartmouth, and Yale, along with an ESPN3 doubleheader for Harvard and Brown and BC’s home set with #4 Louisville. And finally, in D2, the Northeast Division’s biggest weekend yet comes our way in the form of #3 Southern New Hampshire’s visit to Merrimack. Enjoy the reading, and more importantly, get out and enjoy a game.
(One programming note before we dive in: I probably won’t be able to do a Weekend Roundup this coming Monday, but I’ll be back in the middle of the week with some preview material for next weekend.)
Sunshine. Sweet, sweet sunshine. Taking Worcester as our bellwether, we’re looking at sunny and 50s to start the weekend, a sunny and 60s by Sunday. Around the region, sixty-three teams will play home games this weekend, and many of them are involved in title races that are heating up right along with the weather. We’ll take a region-by-region look below.
I’ve gotta say, I really wish the weather were cooperating for this weekend, because the schedule is absolutely loaded. The defending CWS champions will pay a visit to New England (something that hasn’t happened in decades), and Hartford, Rhode Island, and Northeastern host big D1 series as well. In D2, Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire, who’re both in the top 5 nationally now, will celebrate the honor with five home games apiece. And it’s rivalry weekend in D3. Williams and Amherst renew the oldest rivalry in college baseball, and Babson-Wheaton, Suffolk-Saint Joseph’s, and Bowdoin-Bates will also be on display. Bottom line: if you’re willing to layer up, you won’t need to travel far for some great baseball this weekend. Continue reading
April. April! Everyone’s back from Florida, and the games that matter are starting up in earnest, so naturally, we’re looking at 30s and gale-force winds for Sunday. On the bright side, Friday and Saturday will be warm, and there’s plenty of good baseball around to keep the blood flowing. Click on for a region-by-region preview that takes you from Bridgeport to Bangor and just about everywhere in between.
So we’re going to try something new with our weekend previews. Instead of going division-by-division, league-by-league like before, I’m going to break things down by region. The idea is to give people an idea of the best games on offer in their own backyards. Every week, I’ll pick the can’t-miss series from every corner of New England and talk about the narratives, players, and implications surrounding each of them. As I’ve written elsewhere, you’d have plenty of reasons to get yourself to a park even if we weren’t expecting sunshine this weekend. So thanks for clicking, enjoy the post, and if you won’t already be playing in one, get out and see a game.
May is college baseball’s equivalent of September and October. This weekend will see NCAA Tournament tickets punched and playoff races wind down, and by the end of the month, we’ll have national champions crowned in Divisions II and III. With a few exceptions, winning the conference tournament will be teams’ only path to getting a shot at that, which is what makes the next couple weekends so much fan. You don’t have to wait around hoping that one of a handful of series will get to a decisive game five or seven, you get to see baseball played with everything on the line almost every day. It’s one of the many things that makes this sport great.
With our first conference tournaments underway, the weekend previews be focusing on the games that matter most to the title races and playoff chases from here on out. Since I’m doing separate previews for every conference tournament, I’ll keep that material out of the regular weekend preview post. This week, for example, you can find my look at the GNAC and NEWMAC Tournaments elsewhere.
I’ve gotta admit, it feels good not to start every piece with how bad the weather is. We’re still feeling its effects in the form of packed schedules (tripleheaders, anyone?), but the sun’s come out, and the playoff races are heating up. It’s looking like a heck of a year for New England Division I teams at the moment, with UConn and BC in the mix for at-large bids and league leaders in the NEC, MAAC, and Patriot League. In Division II, Franklin Pierce is having a historic season, and somehow I doubt they’ll be the only team making noise this May. In Division III, conference tournament season is upon us, and it looks to be even more exciting than usual, with few if any teams preparing resumes the committee can’t say no to. It’s a stressful time for the players, coaches, and fans involved, but it’s also a ton of fun. Here’s a look ahead to this weekend.