FREELAND, Mich. (Note: release changed on May 7 to reflect new information)--The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has released the official bracket for the conference's baseball tournament later this week. All games will be carried live on Adrian College Television (ACTV).
Wednesday's new schedule for Nicolay Field on the Adrian College campus is: Adrian versus Alma at 2 p.m., followed by Albion against Hope at 5 p.m. in games 1 and 2, respectively.
Adrian senior Dugan Darnell hit the first grand slam by a Bulldog in three years and earned his fourth career save to power host Adrian to a 5-2 Game 1 victory on Friday over second-place Hope, clinching its 11th MIAA championship in a row to extend a conference record.
The Friday doubleheader win, coupled with a split Saturday at Hope, gave the Bulldogs a 24-4 record in MIAA play and granted Adrian home-field advantage for the 2019 MIAA Baseball Tournament on Wednesday through Friday, May 8-10.
Joining Adrian in the four-team, double-elimination tournament are Albion, Alma and Hope. Hope, the No. 2 seed, will host Albion Wednesday, May 8 in first-round action at 4 p.m. Adrian will entertain Alma Wednesday at Nicolay Field, also at 4 p.m.
The winner of the 2019 MIAA Baseball Tournament will receive an automatic berth to the 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.
Adrian (32-7 overall) is currently nationally-ranked No. 14 by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and No. 10 in the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll; AC's NCAA Division III Mideast regional ranking is No. 6. The new national polls will be released on Tuesday and the updated NCAA regional rankings will be made Wednesday.
The Bulldogs offense is led by junior catcher Gunner Rainey and sophomore shortstop Thomas Miller. The duo rank 1-2 in the conference with a .442 batting average for Rainey and a .406 clip for Miller. The latter leads the MIAA with 47 runs batted in and former is second with 46, career highs for both student-athletes. The team is first in most statistical categories including runs scored (357), hits (431), doubles (90), triples (15), sacrifice flies (29), batting average (.329) and on-base percentage (.427).
Freshman Maxwell Denny paces the MIAA with a 1.43 earned-run average and a 9-0 record, the second freshman ever in Adrian history to start with that record. Sophomore Mo Hanley is second with a 1.90 ERA and 59 strikeouts and fourth in batting average against (.147) with a 4-0 record. Junior Pierce Banks (7-2, 9.06 strikeouts per 9 innings), sophomore Jordan Williams (7-1, 8.57) and senior Jason Schroeder (3-1, 8.19) complement a formidable starting pitching rotation that rates first in the conference in strikeouts (327) and ERA (3.29).
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