As in 2015, the Maine schools will make the long trek down to Castleton to contest the NAC title. The host Spartans swept to their second straight title a year ago, but three good teams will be itching to wrest that title away from them this time around. Tourney history, the pennant race, and capsules on all four competitors after the jump.
The weather was gorgeous this weekend, and the baseball was even better. We had more walkoffs than I can ever remember in a single weekend, and plenty of sweeps, upsets, and offense throughout the region. In Division I, UConn knocked off a top-30 opponent, Northeastern got a big road sweep, and the Ivy League standings got bunched about as tightly as possible entering the final two weekends. In Division II, Southern New Hampshire won its midweek grudge match with Franklin Pierce as part of a perfect week that left it atop the NE-10 Northeast. And in D3, a slew of title races came into focus in a weekend of walkoffs and upsets. Read on for more.
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.
The games are only getting bigger as we turn the page on March, and there were plenty of big wins to fill the roundup. Hartford and Sacred Heart both took to the road to earn sweeps, Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire kept on rolling ahead of their showdown this Wednesday, and there were some big results in D3. All that, and some thoughts on some big news about the D3 Tournament, after the jump.
Since 2008, the NAC trophy has gone back and forth between Castleton and Bangor like clockwork. Castleton State has won it every even year, and Husson has taken it back in every odd year. It’s become one of the best rivalries in New England college baseball, and this year’s regular season was more competitive than ever. Joining those two in Vermont are Thomas and Maine-Farmington, two teams hungry for their first trips to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, a winner-take-all title game went the Spartans’ way, and another talented field this season promises even more excitement.
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.