by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College baseball team is set to challenge in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title race this season.
The Flying Dutchmen placed second in the 2019 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll with one first-place vote and 14 points.
Under the direction of head coach Stu Fritz, pictured, Hope is looking to build off a run to the championship game of the 2018 MIAA Tournament.
The Flying Dutchmen return three players who received All-MIAA honors last season, including first-team centerfielder and sophomore Evan Maday of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Kentwood HS).
The 2019 Hope roster also features two second-team honorees: senior second baseman Jordon Fairchild of Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge) and junior outfielder Mason Opple of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville).
The Flying Dutchmen are scheduled to open the season on Friday-Saturday, March 8-9 with a three-game series at Franklin College (Indiana).
Coaches could not vote for their own teams in the poll. Adrian College is the preseason favorite to repeat as MIAA champions.