I was down at UConn yesterday, so I’m just catching up on what was a pretty exciting Thursday in the Northeast-10. Some key series openers, and for once, we can look forward to (almost) a full slate of games. It’ll be another weekend before the standings really start to take shape, but these are series we’ll probably be remembering come tournament time.
For Division II, it’s the calm before the storm. Conference play in the NE-10, ECC, and CACC will start up next week, if the fields cooperate, and the weekend after that, the NE-10 gets into the divisional games that really matter. This weekend sees a lot of teams sneaking in their last few games in the south before snow melt becomes the biggest thing on everyone’s minds. Here’s a look at the action.
Finally, a full weekend of baseball. Yeah, there were some cancellations and even more cold, but more teams than not have gotten out on a field, and a lot more will follow in the week to come. With some consistent 40s on the horizon for much of New England, fields will hopefully start melting off and drying off for home games in a couple weeks. And till then, we get to enjoy some more Florida sunshine.
On the field, plenty of teams were still shaking off the winter this weekend, but also some really good results down south. In Division I, Harvard and UConn got marquee series wins. In Division II, the NE-10’s top guns held serve, and Franklin Pierce’s Mike Lundin threw a no-hitter. And in Division III, Mitchell got a big series sweep to open NECC play, and plenty of others started southern trips off on the right foot.
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.
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.