We always get a mixed bag of emotions in this great sport of ours, but even more than usual, this weekend saw some of the highest highs juxtaposed with the lowest lows. Tournament tickets punched, title games lost. Key series won, many more dropped. Playoff berths clinched, title bids up in smoke. Rookie coaches hitting it big, retiring veterans hitting the home stretch. Freshman leading playoff teams, and, what’s always the worst part of this best time of year, way too many careers coming to an end. Here’s a look at the action.
It’s amazing what two weeks of nice April weather can do for conference standings. Since I wrote here last, we’ve gone from the early season to the thick of playoff races. Some schools in Division III are even opening up conference tournaments this week, and we’ll have our first NCAA Tournament ticket punched on Sunday in the GNAC. I’ll take a closer look at those tournaments and playoff races this week, but for now, here’s a look back at a great weekend of college baseball.
Boston College and Dartmouth had the biggest weeks in Division I, and some title contenders elsewhere kept on rolling. Quinnipiac, Holy Cross, and Bryant/Sacred Heart all finished the weekend atop their conference standings. In Division II, the Northeast Division’s three-headed monster of Franklin Pierce, Southern New Hampshire, and Stonehill combined to go 18-0 on the week, leaving a scramble for the fourth playoff spot in their wake. In Division III, heavy schedules stretched pitching staffs and made it difficult for teams to maintain consistency, but it was Rhode Island College’s turn in the spotlight of what’s been a wildly entertaining year in the Little East.
This weekend, we saw a team pull off a four-game sweep without allowing an earned run, an 11-inning start where that pitcher’s team actually lost, a pitcher win both ends of a doubleheader with 9.1 one-hit innings, and 27 walks in a nine-inning game. Just another weekend in the best sport in the world.
Remember how I couldn’t find a sweep to mention last weekend? That wasn’t be a problem this week. Lots of teams put out serious statements of intent as we turned the calendar from March to April. Boston College headlined some stellar play in Division I. Stonehill and Post both got off to great conference starts in Division II. And in Division III, Western Connecticut pulled off a huge upset sweep of Southern Maine, and Endicott and Husson had stellar weeks as well.
Finally. The real deal. The Florida trips, South Carolina trips, New York trips, thank-God-we-found-some-turf trips, and all the other early-season tune-ups are in the rearview mirror. We’re into divisional games in the Northeast-10. The conference has acquitted itself well in the early going, and now it’s time for everyone to scrap for a conference tournament berth come May. Here’s a look back to the midweek and a preview of the first full weekend.
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.
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.
After what had been a lackluster start to the year, Division I had an excellent showing this past weekend. With five teams taking on schools ranked in at least one poll, there were plenty of chances to make noise, and they took them. UConn and Rhody were the biggest winners, and a lot of others put in good shifts. In Division II, weather killed most of the scheduled action, but Franklin Pierce got another win down at Mercy. And in Division III, Mass Maritime picked up a pair of wins on their Florida trip. Continue reading