With February upon us, the 19 Division 1 programs across New England are getting set to return to the field and start anew. The 2021 season will feature expanded conference play and more games in closer proximity to home in some cases, but the talent that will be on display throughout the region and beyond could be as strong as ever after a shorter professional draft kept some prospects in the college ranks.
The America East and Atlantic 10 conferences include teams like Rhode Island looking to ride the momentum established in a shortened 2020 season. There are also teams like Maine that are continuing rebuilding efforts.
Rhode Island was building a strong resume when 2020 came to an end, posting a four-game win streak to run its record to 8-5. Before a 46-run weekend series at Delaware State to end the year, the Rams beat nationally-ranked Central Michigan and Arizona a total of three times in a four-game span.
Although Maine went just 1-12 last spring, Nick Sinacola (North Attleboro, Mass.) took home Futures League Pitcher of the Year last summer with a 1.62 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 39 innings after leading the America East in the latter category during the shortened spring.
Here is a look at the five New England schools in the America East and Atlantic 10 conferences.