PITTSBURGH--The Adrian College club baseball program certainly made a splash in its first season on the diamond by winning the 2017-18 National Club Baseball Association Division 3 championship. Now in 2018-19, the Bulldogs have moved up to tougher competition but seek to have continued success at the NCBA Division 2 level. The NCBA has released its Northern Plains Region Spring Preview 2019, so please click on the link above.
In 2017-18, Adrian finished 22-5 overall, won the NCBA District 2 West Conference regular-season crown with an 11-0 record, defeated East Champion Edinboro for the district title and captured the NCBA D3 World Series championship in Dubois, Pa., where it outscored the opposition 17-0.
Those accomplishments have so far carried into Year 2 for the program, as Adrian went 9-2 during the fall campaign before heading into the spring. The Bulldogs, who have won five-straight overall, are off to a 4-1 start to the conference which includes a perfect game against Northern Plains rival Grand Valley State.
Adrian has 20 returning players--including a watch list of seniors Tyler Roushia, Brandon Milligan, Mark Cash--who played key roles off that team. Plus, Greenwood brought in nine freshmen to mesh the skillset of his veteran group.
"We have a ton of returning guys and are hopeful that it will lead to another conference title," said second-year Adrian coach Brent Greenwood '14 about the Bulldogs' spring season outlook. "We are returning the majority of a team that went all the way last year in Division 3. Hopefully our experience can help us compete at the Division 2 level and potentially make another deep NCBA postseason run."
Senior Kyle Stratton was the NCBA Division 3 Tournament's Most Outstanding Player last spring. Cash is a two-time NCBA Division 2 National Pitcher of the Week on Nov. 8 and Oct. 7 and also was twice named the Northern Plains Pitcher of the Week. Roushia earned the Northern Plains Hitter of the Week on Nov. 8 and Milligan was recognized on Oct. 3.
With last year's regional champion now in Division 1, 2018 regional runner-up Toledo joins Wisconsin and Grand Valley in hopes of a return trip to the postseason. 2018 Division III World Series Champion Adrian College and perennial Division 2 powerhouse Ohio State have also entered the region for 2019, making things even more competitive this spring.
Heading into the spring season Wisconsin (2-1) joins Ohio State (6-0) and North Dakota State (5-1) atop their respective conferences. Adrian trails the OSU Buckeyes by 1-1/2 games in the Northern Plains race, with a three-game series on March 29-31 in Adrian looming between the conference contenders.
The 2019 NCBA preseason Top-20 poll will be released on Jan. 31.
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(Editor's note: The NCBA office contributed to this outlook.)