Tuesday, January 31, 2012

College Baseball: Spring is Sprung

Division I baseball officially opened up play on Friday, and the Mids with it in anticipation of a February 17 opener at North Carolina A&T. This winter to date has been especially mild in the Mid-Atlantic and this past weekend was no exception, allowing Navy unexpected time outdoors.

"It's always going to be a bonus early on when you can get outside and scrimmage and see live action. It was very good to get back out on the field and get started again," Navy coach Paul Kostacopoulos told navysports.com.

Schedule starts in winter are great for long-suffering baseball fans, but elements in February and early March in Annapolis are seldom obliging. For outfielders, in particular, the combination of heavy winds and lack of repetitions can turn routine fly balls into clean hits in the scorer's book. Navy's earliest home game is slated for February 22 against UMES at Max Bishop.

Notes: Navy's junior righthander Joel Rinehart was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association's 2012 'Stopper of the Year Award' watch list. Rinehart merited the honor on the strength of a 2011 campaign that included a 1.81 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 49 innings of work, and six saves.