by Alan Babbitt
Despite their efforts, the Flying Dutchmen finished runner-up in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association on Friday after a 6-0 victory against Alma College and a 2-0 loss to host Adrian College.
Hope's record is 31-11 overall, which is a school record for wins. The Flying Dutchmen are not expected to receive an at-large berth for the 58-team NCAA Division III Tournament because they were not regionally ranked heading into the MIAA Tournament. The field is announced on Monday, May 13.
Pictured, from left, Shane Hykin and Kam Miller
On Friday, Hope needed to win twice in order to force a third and winner-take-all game against Adrian (35-7).
The Flying Dutchmen were shut out on four hits by starter Pierce Banks and reliever Dugan Darnell.
Center fielder Evan Maday of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Kentwood) led off the ninth with a single, but Darnell retired the next three batters for his eighth save.
Hykin (4-2) scattered five hits and two runs over seven innings on the mound for Hope. The freshman from Ada, Michigan (Forest Hills Northern) struck out two.
Hykin tossed six scoreless innings after Adrian struck for a two-run first.
Hope advanced to the championship round by defeating Alma behind Miller's pitching and Slancik's batting.
Miller (2-2) tossed a complete-game, six-hit shutout. The sophomore from Coldwater, Michigan (Coldwater) struck out three and walked two over 108 pitches. He yielded only singles.
In addition to catching Miller, Slancik, pictured left, delivered a five RBI-day on a first-inning single, a second-inning, three-run double, and a ninth-inning single. He went 3-for-5.