The Hope College baseball team completed a four-game sweep of Albion College Friday on the road to remain in the hunt for a spot in next month's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
The Flying Dutchmen won 8-6 and 8-7 at Albion to improve to 12-12 in MIAA play and 14-20 overall.
Hope has as many league wins as second-place Kalamazoo and third-place Calvin, but those teams have played times. The Flying Dutchmen are even in MIAA winning percentage at .500 with fourth-place Alma (10-10) and fifth-place Trine (11-11).
The Flying Dutchmen wrap up the regular-season with a four-game series against MIAA champion Adrian.
In Game 1, reliever CJ Otteman of Zeeland, Michigan (East HS) retired the two batters he faced for his fourth save of the season. The Britons pulled within two runs by answered three Hope runs in the top half of the inning with three of their own.
Leftfielder Nick Lepore of Clinton Township, Michigan (Warren DeLaSalle) led the Flying Dutchmen's 16-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with an RBI triple.
Third baseman Danny Carrasco of Grandville, Michigan (Calvin Christian) went 2-for-3 with two RBis.
Centerfield Evan Maday of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Kentwood), shortstop Jordon Fairchild of Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge) and catcher Trace Slancik of Scotts, Michigan (Vicksburg) all had two hits apiece.
Winning pitcher Ted Eppinga of Saline, Michigan (Saline) tossed 4 ⅓ innings of three-run relief. Eppinga (2-4) struck out two.
In Game 2, Otteman squashed another Albion threat — stranding runners at first and second by inducing an inning-ending fielder's choice.
Freshman Sean Hoey of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa) then retired three of the five batters he faced in the ninth for his second save. Sophomore Matt VanDyken of Zeeland, Michigan (East) was the winner with six innings of one-run relief.
Hope rallied from a 6-0 deficit after the second inning.
Fairchild's eighth-inning double tied the score at 7-7 by plating Maday and first baseman Landon Brower of Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian).
Rightfielder Mason Opple of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) followed with a go-ahead single that knocked in Fairchild.
Opple topped Hope's 15-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Maday, Fairchild, Slancik and Lepore all contributed two hits apiece.