The Flying Dutchmen have been picked to finish second behind defending champion Adrian in the first-ever pre-season poll of MIAA baseball coaches.
Coach Stu Fritz's Flying Dutchmen received three of the eight first-place votes while Adrian garnered the remaining five. A year ago Hope finished second behind Adrian in the MIAA standings. The teams split their four-game series, each sweeping a doubleheader on the other team's field. Hope posted a 26-14 overall record.
Adrian is the three-time defending conference champion. Poll Results (coaches could not vote for their own team): 1. Adrian (5) 9 pts. 2. Hope (3) 11. 3. Calvin 23. 4. Albion 24. 5. Trine 33. 6. Alma 39. 6. Kalamazoo 39. 8. Olivet 46.
The Flying Dutchmen open their season with the annual series of games in Florida from March 16-22. The regular season has an exciting beginning as Hope and Adrian launch it with a home-and-away series on March 24 (at Hope) and March 26 (at Adrian).
This year will also mark the first time that the MIAA will hold a post-season conference tournament to determine the qualifier for the NCAA championships. In the past the regular season champion has been the automatic qualifier. The four-team MIAA tournament will take place May 9-11.