The Roadrunners baseball team will be searching for a strong showing at the Russ Matt Tournament in Florida over spring break.
They will have eight games in Auburndale and three games in Winter Haven, which will accumulate for a total of 11 games in nine days.
They will need to play the same type of baseball that they played against Catholic University in late February in the upcoming tournament against several very good and well-coached teams.
In order to come out of Florida with another solid performance throughout the tournament, the Roadrunners will need the pitching staff to keep them in games, as well as have smart at bats, keep the ball in play, and make the plays in the field behind the pitching staff.
The Roadrunners will not have a single day off during the tournament.
Also, players will not have much rest in between games, since after every game the players will have to start preparing for the next opponent.
Their first opponent will be Coe College, who they will face off in a double-header in Auburndale on Friday.
Then, the Roadrunners will travel to Winter Haven to face UMass Dartmouth at Chain O’Lakes Field.
A showdown with Anderson University will occur the day after that.
The Roadrunners will then travel back to Auburndale for four consecutive games against three different opponents: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Franklin and Marshall College and Washington University.
After those four games, they will return to Winter Haven for a final time to face Framingham State University before wrapping up the tournament in Auburndale with games against Wheaton College and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Since several of these opponents had winning records a year ago, these games are expected to go down to the wire.
These factors can certainly benefit the Roadrunners in NJAC games later in the season, especially if they win a lot of close games, considering that the NJAC is expected to be a dog ight until the very end of the season, including the postseason.
The Roadrunners have had success at the Russ Matt Tournament over the past few years including a 6-4 record last season, a 7-3 record in 2014 and an 8-1 record in 2013.
Additionally, they would like to improve on their 6-4 tournament record from last season, and, in the double-header against Catholic University, they have shown that they can get it done, as they defeated Catholic in both games of their double-header in the nation’s capital.
After the completion of the Russ Matt Tournament, the Roadrunners will host Drew University in their home opener on March 22 at 3:30 p.m., where they dominated opponents to a 13-1 record last season.