As the college baseball season begins to take on its midseason form, I'll be embarking on a new journey to visit every D1 college baseball stadium in Connecticut this spring. Connecticut has 7 Division 1 programs (soon to be 6) spread all across our small state. Over the course of this series, I'll be recapping every game, giving a brief review on every stadium, and covering the history and future outlook of every team. In today's introductory segment of the Four C's, I'll be providing a brief overview of every Division 1 school in Connecticut.
Central Connecticut State University
Little known fact about Central Connecticut State University (CCSU for short) is that it's the state's oldest Division 1 university, predating even the state's flagship university, UConn. Known as the "Blue Devils", Central Connecticut is located in New Britain, CT, about 15 minutes from our state capital, Hartford. The CCSU baseball team is currently sporting an 8-3 record, standing at an impressive 6-0 in their conference so far. Playing in the NEC, the Blue Devils are looking to win their 6th ever conference championship, and are seeking revenge after being bounced in the semifinals last year.
Fairfield University is a private, Jesuit institution established in 1942. The Stags of Fairfield are located in, well, you guessed it, Fairfield, about an hours drive to Hartford. Fairfield has experienced a decent amount of success in baseball while playing in the MAAC conference, winning 4 conference championships, most recently in 2016. A Fairfield University alumni, Trey McGloughlin, actually plays for my favorite team (the New York Mets) and is from my home town. Fairfield currently has a 9-8 record, and has yet to play a home game this season.
Quinnipiac University is located in Hamden, CT. Established in 1929, Quinnipiac is overlooked by the popular hiking destination known as Sleeping Giant State Park. Quinnipiac adopted the Bobcat mascot in 2003 thanks to Connecticut's rapidly increasing bobcat population. Located only 30 minutes from Hartford and 15 minutes from New Haven, QU is in a perfect spot for easy travel to both major Connecticut cities. The Bobcats currently sit at 5-11 on the season, and have one present day major leaguer (Matt Batten of the San Diego Padres, CT resident and former captain of my high school baseball team).
Sacred Heart University
The Pioneers of Sacred Heart share space with the Stags in the town of Fairfield, CT. Founded in 1963, and the alma mater of both my parents, SHU will be the youngest university I'll be visiting on my tour. From 2017-2021, former major league player and manager Bobby Valentine served as the Athletic Director of Sacred Heart, until he left to pursue a political career as mayor of Stamford, CT. The Pioneers are currently 9-7 on the season, and play alongside CCSU in the NEC conference.
Yale needs little introduction. The oldest university on my tour, and by far the most prestigious, the Yale Bulldogs are located in the city of New Haven. Former Met pitcher and current Met color broadcaster Ron Darling attended this renowned institution before leaving the university after getting drafted 1983. The Ivy League school has had a better track record of producing presidents than having successful baseball teams, however, as the Bulldogs currently have a record of 4-9.
University of Connecticut
My UConn Huskies have historically had a very impressive baseball team. With several current major league players, UConn has been dominant ever since they rejoined the Big East conference. Located in Storrs, CT, UConn sits about a half hour outside of Hartford. Originally founded as an agricultural school in 1881, UConn is Connecticut's largest university. Typically thought of as a basketball school (4 national championships for the men and 11 for the women), baseball is commonly thought of as the school's second best sport. UConn currently has a record of 12-5 with conference play starting soon.
University of Hartford
The tragic story of the Hartford Hawks is that they are close to fully transitioning to a Division 3 program. This came after their impressive run to make the NCAA tournament in basketball back in 2021. Regardless, they're still here in the Division 1 realm, so I'll be covering them on my tour. Established in 1957, the Hawks reside in Connecticut's capital city of Hartford. The Hawks look to go out with a bang this season, but will beed to get going soon, as they are currently 1-9 overall.