posted May 22, 2002

Four Named to All-Region Baseball Team

 Hope College has placed a record four players on the All Mid-East Region Division III baseball team.

Players are selected by coaches of NCAA Division III teams in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Hope players named to the All Mid-East second team are sophomore catcher Eric MacKenzie of Alpena (Alpena HS), junior first baseman B.J. Maas of Jenison (Jenison HS) and junior outfielder Mike VanBeek of Hudsonville (Unity Christian HS). Honored as a third team selection is senior pitcher Kevin Kittle of North Adams (Jerome HS).

Since the all-region program started in 1966, Hope had not had more than two players honored in a single season.

The Flying Dutchmen won a school-record 28 games this season putting together a 26-game winning streak enroute to a 28-6 mark.

MacKenzie led the team in hitting with a .419 average that included 16 extra bases. He committed only two errors in 34 games and was credited with throwing out 12 runners attempting to steal a base.

Co-captain of the team, Maas hit a team-leading 10 homeruns while batting .388 and maintaining a .767 slugging percentage. Twice in the season he hit a game-winning grand slam homerun in the Hope's final at-bat. With a season remaining, he shared the Hope career record for homeruns (19).

Van Beek, a two-time All-MIAA first team honoree, batted .407 in all games was 21 extra base hits and a .735 slugging percentage. In conference games he topped the MIAA in homeruns (5), total bases (49), RBIs (20) and slugging percentage (.790).

A four-year starter, Kittle posted a 7-1 record this spring and was 18-13 over his career, including 12-5 in conference games.