Adjusting to Division 1 college baseball and playing a regular role on a team is no easy task in any year.
Of course, 2021 was not just any year.
Lost senior seasons of high school ball, and interrupted or canceled fall and winter schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic for many of New England’s 19 D-1 programs made the learning curve even sharper. But the challenges presented by unprecedented times didn’t stop many first-year players around the region from making an immediate impact.
“We didn’t have a fall season this year, so I didn’t even get to campus until mid-January,” UMass Lowell catcher Jimmy Sullivan (East Hampton, Conn.) said. “One of my goals was just to learn as much as I could, and just getting started there was kind of a relief. It was finally great to meet everyone, see the team’s philosophy and what the coaches expect for myself, but jumping right into live at-bats while adjusting to everything with COVID, too, was definitely difficult.”