PHILADELPHIA - Opening its season this Friday, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team will head to Florida for eight games in the Sunshire State. Penn will kick off its season with three game in Jacksonville against North Florida before heading south to Port St. Luice for a pair with Holy Cross and three with Georgetown.
The Quakers enter the 2016 season with a much younger roster than a year ago. The Class of 2015 took 10 players with it and in return, the Red and Blue will feature 11 freshman and just five seniors on the roster when they take the field on Friday night.
Penn will also have a pair of reenforcements who transferred in from highly touted programs. Adam Bleday makes his way to West Philadelphia after he pitched for Gulf Coast College last season. The left-handed hurler transferred to GCC from College World Series runner-up Virginia in 2015.
Also playing his first season at Penn will be sophomore Daniel Halevy. Halevy attended Houston in 2015, but did not see time. The right-handed outfielder was an All-State player in the state of Texas in 2013.
A QUICK LOOK AT NORTH FLORIDA: The University of North Florida Ospreys will play host to Penn in the Quakers' season-opener, but UNF will have nine games under its belt before Penn arrives. The Ospreys stand at 3-5 and losers of four straight coming into their match up with Jacksonville on Wednesday night. They took two of three from George Washington in their opening-series, but were swept in a three-game series with Hartford over the weekend.
A QUICK LOOK AT HOLY CROSS: The Crusaders have already made their way around the country early in the season. Holy Cross opened its season in Long Beach, Calif. and salvaged the final game of a three-game set with the Dirtbags of Long Beach State. They then took their crusade to Williamsburg, Va. for three with William and Mary, dropping each game by narrow margins. The Crusaders will play three more in Greenville, S.C. against Furman before making the trip to Port St. Lucie for two with the Quakers.
A QUICK LOOK AT GEORGETOWN: At 3-4, the Georgetown Hoyas will play five more games before they meet Penn for three in Port St. Lucie. The Hoyas have felt the cold of winter in their bats, hitting just .239 in the early going. However, sophmore Michael DeRenzi has hit the ground running, batting .517 in the first seven games with a pair of doubles and three stolen bases.