By STEVE KRAH
Cabin fever and cold temperatures have been a reality in Indiana this winter.
But it’s beginning to thaw in many places. College baseball games have been played in the state and institutions from the state have traveled to open the 2021 season.
There are 38 college baseball programs in Indiana — Ball State (Head coach Rich Maloney), Butler (Dave Schrage), Evansville (Wes Carroll), Notre Dame (Link Jarrett), Purdue (Greg Goff), Purdue Fort Wayne (Doug Schreiber), Indiana (Jeff Mercer), Indiana State (Mitch Hannahs) and Valparaiso (Brian Schmack) in NCAA Division I, Indianapolis (Al Ready), Purdue Northwest (Dave Griffin) and Southern Indiana (Tracy Archuleta) in NCAA Division II, Anderson (Matt Bair), DePauw (Blake Allen), Earlham (Steve Sakosits), Franklin (Lance Marshall), Hanover (Grant Bellak), Manchester (Rick Espeset), Rose-Hulman (Jeff Jenkins), Trine (Greg Perschke) and Wabash (Jake Martin) in NCAA Division III, Bethel (Seth Zartman), Calumet of Saint Joseph (Brian Nowakowski), Goshen (Alex Childers), Grace (Ryan Roth), Huntington (Mike Frame), Marian (Todd Bacon), Oakland City (Andy Lasher), Taylor (Kyle Gould), Indiana University-Kokomo (Matt Howard), Indiana University South Bend (Doug Buysse), Indiana University Southeast (Ben Reel), Indiana Tech (Kip McWilliams), Indiana Wesleyan (Rich Benjamin) and Saint Francis (Dustin Butcher) in NAIA and Ancilla (Chris Woodruff), Ivy Tech Northeast (Lance Hershberger) and Vincennes (Chris Barney) in NJCAA — and 26 have already heard “Play Ball!”
Where they’ve been allowed, fans have been in the stands. Others have followed on internet streams.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have altered traditional schedules. Many have gone to longer series to limit travel.
So who’s off to the hottest starts?
Coming off a four-game series sweep against IU Southeast, Huntington is 7-0.
Taylor got the earliest start of any college team in the start, opening its season Jan. 22 in Arizona. The Trojans are 11-6.
Ball State leads D-I clubs at 4-3. The Cardinals split a season-opening series at Arizona.
The Big Ten opted to play conference games only in ’21. Indiana opens March 5 in Minneapolis and will play games against Minnesota and Rutgers.
Meanwhile, Purdue will also open a four-game series against Nebraska in Round Rock, Texas, on March 5.
Purdue Northwest is also scheduled to get going March 5.
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference teams Earlham, Franklin, Hanover and Manchester open up March 6. Anderson and Rose-Hulman get into the act March 7.
Trine’s lid-lifter is slated for March 13.
INDIANA COLLEGE BASEBALL
Records Through Feb. 28
NCAA Division I
Ball State 4-3
Indiana State 3-4
Notre Dame 2-1
Purdue Fort Wayne 1-3
NCAA Division II
Southern Indiana 2-1
Purdue Northwest 0-0
NCAA Division III
Oakland City 6-4
Saint Francis 6-5
Indiana University Southeast 5-10
Indiana Wesleyan 4-7
Indiana University-Kokomo 3-4
Indiana University South Bend 0-4
Indiana Tech 0-7
Calumet of Saint Joseph 0-0
Ivy Tech Northeast 0-1