On a D3 scene where parity has been in fairly short supply in 2016, the MASCAC stands out. Salem took up their usual spot at the top of the standings, MMA and Fitchburg put up their best league marks in years to finish 2nd and 3rd; Bridgewater had its best year since 2013 to return to the playoffs after 2015; and Worcester, 2014 champions and 21-7 over the last two years, missed the field entirely. It’s in character for a league in which five different teams have finished atop the regular-season standings since 2011. More on the history, pennant race, and all six participants after the jump.
What a fun week to round up. Division III took center stage and didn’t disappoint. We saw upsets, walkoffs, records broken, incredible plays, and, of course, our first dogpile. And in D1 and D2, things are coming right down to the wire for playoff spots and league titles. More on all that plus Teams of the Week within.
(One quick programming note: It’s come to my attention that WordPress is showing ads for some folks. That’s their price for giving me free hosting, not my choice, but I still apologize for that, and please let me know if it’s a big issue for you.)
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.)
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
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.
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.
We’ve gotten in a lot more non-conference baseball than we’re used to this year, but with the end of March, we’re finally getting into conference play. Leagues like the ACC, AEC, NEC, and NECC are in full swing now, and some fascinating title races are already taking shape. More on those, and on the slew of NECB clubs representing the region well as our center of gravity shifts from south to north in the weeks ahead.
(One other thing, a favor to ask: I’ll be linking the blog posts on a Facebook page from here on out, and I’d much appreciate it if you’d give it a like and help spread the word to folks who aren’t on Twitter to follow the season along with us. Thanks, and enjoy the post!)