posted June 12, 2003

Flying Dutchmen Advance to NCAA Tournament

The MIAA champion Hope College baseball team will play in the NCAA Division III championships beginning with the tournament on Thursday (May 15) at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

Hope (20-15) will be seeded fourth in the four-team tournament behind host Ohio Wesleyan (29-15), Anderson, Ind. (29-13) and Benedictine, Ill. (26-15-2).

The Flying Dutchmen will play the host Battling Bishops in its first game at 3 p.m. Thursday. The double elimination regional will continue through Saturday.

The winner will advance to the Division III championship series in Appleton, Wisc. from May 22-27.

This will be Hope's third NCAA tournament appearance in six years under coach Stu Fritz. The Flying Dutchmen travelled to Ohio in 1998 and to Illinois in 2001.

Each of the teams in the regional gained automatic berths as conference champions.

Hope won the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship finishing with a 16-2 conference record while Ohio Wesleyan will represent the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), Anderson the Heartland Athletic Conference and Benedictine the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference.

This is one of eight regional tournaments featuring 42 teams, including defending national champion Eastern Connecticut State (37-7).