Escaping the cold, starting in the sun
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
Ever wondered where some of your athletic classmates and fellow Conn-visitors disappear to this time of year while it is cold and snowy outside? Well, they go down south. That’s right – every February, and again over Spring Break – the baseball and softball programs open their seasons up in warmer temperatures.
It is just not possible to get all of the regular-season in before May, when you do not start by February, and it is still too cold and unbearable for baseball that time of year.
I mean, the first week or so in March is usually pretty unbearable for baseball and softball too so you cannot blame them for joining other teams across all three NCAA divisions, in heading to places like Florida and South Carolina to begin their campaigns.
Since schools in the south, on average, get out for a summer a week earlier than schools in the Northeast, some of the Owls’ opponents have already played a healthy dose of games while we are just ready for the season’s first few contests this time of year.
For example, baseball plays eight games in warmer temperatures this year before they head back to Connecticut and take on the University of Bridgeport, for the Northeast opener. So, yes, they are taking fancy trips right at the beginning of the season, unlike other teams which may need to make the NCAA Tournament to get out of the region.
But baseball and softball are not the only sports on campus that have planned trips like this — other programs have chosen to spend parts of their breaks from school in warmer temperatures in the past, typically during their preseasons. But teams such as women’s lacrosse have previously headed out of the area to play actual games, too.
Just last year, the aforementioned lacrosse team even played two games in Colorado in the very early stages of the season, taking on one team from the NE10 and one that was from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
For whatever reason, it can be good for teams to get into a totally different scenery because, while the Owls and University of New Haven Chargers are the only teams in the NE10 from the state, the farthest any regular season games take place is in New Hampshire, when they square off against Southern New Hampshire University.
So, wonder where your classmates may be this time of year in baseball and softball, because while you are learning complex math equations or figuring out where Madagascar may be, they are having fun playing games in sunny skies and hot weather, even if they do need to prepare for rain delays.