What We Learned in D2’s First Week

Robert Frey
4 min readFeb 6, 2023


Ah, it feels good to be back.

As the calendar transitioned from January to February, that meant one thing. D2 baseball is back, and well, we had some exciting moments over the first 5 days of the season.

Defending Champ North Greenville Doesn’t Miss a Beat

Photo Credit: @NGUBaseball

Houston, we don’t have a problem. The Crusaders were doing their thing, as they went 3–0 at the Houston Winter Invitational, including beating #13 Central Missouri by 11 and two come-from-behind wins, known as the #CardiacKids, per NGUBaseball’s Twitter account.

Remember Murderer’s Row of the 1927 Yankees of Ruth, Gehrig, and Meusel, a vaunted lineup that seemed impossible to beat?

Well, I got one better. How about the Crusader’s Row of Pat Monteith (2 hitter), John Michael Faile II (3 hitter), and Marek Chlup (4 hitter)? Over the weekend, the 3 combined for a slash line (Batting Average, On Base Percentage, and Slugging Percentage) of .467/.590/.667 with 4 extra base hits and 7 RBI. That doesn’t include the likes of Zach Zarra, Cory Bivins, and and David Lewis, who each posted an OPS (On Base plus Slugging) over 1.000.

Montevallo Also Goes 3–0 at the Houston Winter Invitational

Photo Credit: @UMoTownBaseball

After a 36–15 finish to their season last year without a postseason bid, Montevallo looked to prove their worth in Houston by starting off 2023 with a bang.

They did exactly that, going 3–0, starting with a walk-off by Ben Teel to beat Flagler, then outslugging Central Missouri in a one-run game, and blowing the doors off on Arkansas Tech.

Asa Awbrey, Ben Teel, Matt Simon, and Luke Mitchell all posted an OPS over 1.400 over the weekend each with at least 4 RBI.

Hawaii-Hilo hosts a ranked Augustana, goes 4–1

Photo Credit: @Uhhilobaseball

Hawaii-Hilo started the season with a 5-game set from Wednesday to Saturday against the 15th ranked Augustana, per NCBWA, and ended the weekend 4–1. How did they do it? Pitching.

The Vulcans posted a 3.35 ERA over the series, as well as holding the Vikings to a .250 batting average, but more importantly, holding Augustana to a .109 batting average with runners in scoring position. A bend-don’t-break mentality indeed.

Casey Yamauchi was a tough out at the plate and on the basepaths for Hawaii Hilo, as he went 7 for 17 with a home run, 3 walks, a hit by pitch, and was 4 for 4 on stolen base attempts.

Two of The Toughest Schedules, Three Games Decided by a Single Run

Photo Credit: @UWF_Baseball

In the preseason, we posted the 10 Toughest Schedules going into 2023.

We got a glimpse of how close these games can be as the 2nd toughest-schedule West Florida travelled to the 7th-toughest schedule Florida Southern and went 2–1. All games were decided by a single run. As a matter of fact, the series finale was wild. The Mocs hit a 2-run home run to tie the game at 6 in the bottom of the ninth, only for Jackson Grabsky to hit a solo home run in the Top of the 10 to give the Argos the 7–6 win.

Undefeated Teams from the week/weekend (min 2 games played, in alphabetical order (this does not include Monday’s games)):

Angelo St. (4–0), Arkansas Fort-Smith (2–0),Arkansas-Monticello (3–0) , Barry (2–0) ,Belmont Abbey (4–0), Cal Poly Pomona (4–0), Cal St. San Bernardino (3–0), Central Oklahoma (3–0) , Harding (2–0) ,Holy Names (3–0) ,King (4–0), Limestone (3–0), Lincoln Memorial (3–0) , Millersville (2–0),Missouri Southern (4–0),Montevallo (3–0), MSU Denver (3–0), North Georgia (3–0) ,North Greenville (3–0), Palm Beach Atlantic (3–0),Point Loma (4–0), Sonoma St. (2–0), Southern Arkansas (2–0),St. Edward’s (4–0), St. Mary’s (TX) (3–0), Tampa (3–0) ,UNC Pembroke (3–0) ,USC Aiken (3–0) ,West Texas A&M (4–0), Young Harris (3–0)