The Hope College baseball team is picked second in the 2016 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll.
Coach Stu Fritz’s Flying Dutchmen totaled 15 points in the eight-team poll and placed only behind last season’s champion, Adrian. The Bulldogs received all seven first-place votes. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Hope is coming off a 2015 campaign where the Flying Dutchmen posted a 23-19 overall record and tied for third in the MIAA standings.
Three All-MIAA Second Team returns for Hope: senior pitcher Jake Chipka of Waterville, Ohio (Anthony Wayne HS), senior outfielder Ryan Konkle of Spring Lake, Michigan (Spring Lake HS) and junior shortstop Brady VanderWeele of Kalamazoo, Michigan (Parchment HS).
The Flying Dutchmen have a roster of 31 players with nine seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores and 10 freshmen.
Hope opens the 2016 season on Friday and Saturday, March 11-12 with a three-game series at Franklin, Indiana. The Flying Dutchmen then will play seven games in Winter Haven, Florida, between March 18-23.
The home opener for Hope is Saturday, March 26 against Alma.
Team Pts. (1st place votes)
1 Adrian 7 (7)
2 Hope 15 (1)
3 Kalamazoo 24
4 Calvin 26
5 Trine 30
6 Albion 31
7 Alma 42
8 Olivet 49