Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.

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In their second-to-last road trip before they finally begin their season at Hoy Field, the Big Red will venture to Florida for the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational from March 13th to March 15th; the team will take on LIU-Brooklyn, Bowling Green, the University of Maine, and Huntington University.

About RussMatt

The RussMatt Central Florida Invitational is an annual Floridian college baseball invitational, and it hosts more than 200 colleges each year, more than every other Florida spring break tournaments combined, according to their website. The event takes place at two former major league spring training facilities, in conjunction with nine professional back fields, as well as auxiliary fields, Polk County college fields, and municipal parks. The event will be located at two primary locations: Winter Haven and Auburndale, about an hour away from Orlando International Airport.

The Opponents

LIU-Brooklyn comes into this series 3-3 on the season, as they have lost two of three to High Point and split two games with Savannah State University. They have played one game so far in the invitational, and they lost to Maine 12-2. Bowling Green has already picked up two victories at the invitational, but they came into the series 3-6 on the series as they lost two of three to Southeast Missouri State, won two of three against Eastern Kentucky, and then they were swept in a three-game series against Campbell University. Maine has already split two games so far in the invitational, so they enter the weekend with an overall 5-13 record.

What To Watch For

This is a relatively important series for Cornell. It may be an exhibition, but it will be critical to see a few things: how does the team fare in warm weather, in a climate that is more conducive to offense? And, who will start to solidify themselves in the starting roster? There are ten games remaining until Ivy League play, and these next four should start to make the roster look a bit more concrete. The starting rotation is nearly set, as Michael Byrne, Brian McAfee, Kellen Urbon, and Nick Busto look to be major contributors. We’ll also see whether Dan Morris continues his hot hitting, and whether Dale Wickham breaks into the regular lineup. A few questions remain, and we’re one weekend closer to finding answers.

Unfortunately, only one game will have live updates, and that will be against Bowling Green on Saturday at 10:15 am. The rest of the schedule for this weekend, and for the rest of the season, can be found here.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.