FREELAND, Mich.--Ten-time-defending Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association baseball champion Adrian College swept the two major awards as six Bulldogs dotted the all-conference first and second teams, the MIAA released on Tuesday.
Seniors Tommy Parsons (New Albany, Ohio) and Hunter Hayes (Adrian High School) are the most valuable pitcher and hitter, respectively. Parsons is voted by the league's eight head coaches as the top pitcher in the MIAA for the third time in his career, while Hayes makes the jump from the second team to the first in the span of a season. This marks the eighth time since 2006 that the Bulldogs have earned both MVP awards in the same season.
In addition to Parsons and first baseman Hayes, freshman pitcher Jordan Williams (Westland, Mich./Lutheran Westland HS), sophomore outfielder Gunner Rainey (Adrian, Mich./Madison), sophomore second baseman Brady Wood (Frankenmuth High School) also were named to the first team. Sophomore pitcher Pierce Banks (Sterling Heights, Mich./Parkway Christian HS) is a two-time All-MIAA pick, including the second unit this spring.
Hayes is having a career year that includes MIAA-topping seven home runs, 15 doubles, 52 runs batted in and .640 slugging percentage while batting a personal-best .366 which is ranked sixth. He became the 37th member of the AC 100-hit club in the second game of a twinbill at Albion College on April 22. The exercise science major tied a school record with five hits in a game (Trine on April 27) and twice earned MIAA Player of the Week (April 16, April 30).
A four-time conference pitcher of the week this season, Parsons leads the MIAA with a 9-0 record, 1.44 earned-run average, 94 strikeouts, eight complete games, two shutouts, 75.0 innings pitched and 11.28 strikeouts-per-9-innings. A preseason All-American by D3baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the business management has a personal 21-game winning streak and at 38-4 in his career is the NCAA all-Divisions all-time leader in wins among active student-athletes.
Williams joins Parsons as a formidable 1-2 duo for the 'Dogs on the mound after going 8-0 with one save in his debut season. An April 16 and March 19 MIAA Pitcher of the Week, he ranks second in the MIAA in victories, and is third in both ERA (2.14) and strikeouts (61). Opponents are hitting just .214 against the business administration major. He picked up his first career victory March 2 at nationally regarded Emory in his Adrian debut, allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts in six innings of work.
Rainey is the 38th Bulldog to reach 100 career hits when he did so last Saturday at Hope College. The social studies major has had a career year across the statistical board with (including MIAA rank) 37 runs scored (3rd), 53 hits (6th), seven doubles, 31 RBI (5th), .349 batting average (11th), .404 on-base percentage (22nd) and .428 slugging (29th). He enjoyed a 12-game hitting streak from April 10-28 in which he went 27-for-50 for a .540 clip, and connected for his first career home run on Monday against Baldwin Wallace.
Like other teammates, Wood has had a breakout campaign, too. In his first year as a starter, he owns top-10 MIAA ranks in batting average (2nd, .420), slugging (2nd, .571), on-base average (3rd, .485), triples (5th, 3) and total bases (10th, 68). The business major tied a school record with five hits in a game in the MIAA finale at Hope on Saturday, when he drove in a personal-best five runs. He ended the regular season with a .682 batting average (15-22) over five contests. Wood was named to the April 24 D3baseball.com Team of the Week.
Banks posted a 5-2 record with a 4.68 ERA in 10 starts as the No. 2 pitcher in the Adrian rotation. But he was even better in conference play at 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA. Forty-one of his 55 strikeouts on the season have come during MIAA games-only and his opponent batting average splits are .251 season/.236 MIAA. The exercise science major tossed a four-hitter over seven innings (0 ER) at Albion in Game 2 of an April 21 when he had a career-high 11 strikeouts.
All told, Adrian has produced 14 MVP hitters and 10 MVP pitchers in the MIAA postseason awards.
Adrian will host the 2018 MIAA Championship Tournament this week, starting with Game 1 against Calvin College at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
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