Alma, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team has been picked to finish sixth in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association race in 2018, it was announced today (Friday, Feb. 9) as the league revealed its annual preseason coaches poll.
The Scots received 37 points in the balloting, tying Albion College. Adrian College, the nine-time defending MIAA regular-season champion, and winner of the 2017 MIAA Tournament, received seven out of eight first-place votes and was picked to repeat as the top team in the league.
Hope College was picked to finish second and received the other first-place vote.
Alma finished the 2017 campaign with a 15-25 record, including a 13-15 mark to tie for fourth place in the MIAA. The Scots swept a doubleheader against Adrian College for the first time since 1992 last year and posted impressive offensive numbers during the campaign, finishing second to the school record in a number of offensive categories.
Alma returns a number of starters from last season's squad, including sophomore Jaret Koin (Sterling, Mich./Standish-Sterling), who tallied 50 hits and batted .350. Senior Matt Minaudo (Clinton Township, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate) is also back for his third season as a starting outfielder after recording 36 hits, including seven extra-base efforts, in 2017. Sophomore Max Trucks (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) also looks to factor into the lineup again after posting 41 hits and batting .345 in his rookie season.
On the mound, senior Eric Frontzak (Naperville, Ill./Montini Catholic) will headline the pitching corps after recording an 8-4 record with a team-high 51 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.68 over 12 appearances. Sophomore Josh Riggs (Irons, Mich./Brethren) is also back after making 10 starts in 2017, striking out 43 and posting a 3.95 ERA.
The Scots will open their season on Sunday, Feb. 25, against the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the first of five games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Following its annual Spring Break trip to Florida, Alma will travel to Hanover College (IN) for a doubleheader on Sunday, March 11. The Scots will conclude their season-opening 10-game road trip on Friday-Saturday, March 16-17, at the Wheaton College (IL) Invitational, facing the host Thunder, Aurora University (IL) and St. Mary's College (MN).
Alma will stage its home opener at Klenk Park on Tuesday, March 20, with a doubleheader against Finlandia University.
2018 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
1 - Adrian College - 7 points (7 first-place votes)
2 - Hope College - 14 points (1 first-place vote)
3 - Kalamazoo College - 23 points
T4 - Calvin College - 29 points
T4 - Trine University - 29 points
T6 - Albion College - 37 points
T6 - Alma College - 37 points
8 - Olivet College - 48 points