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2020 Hope College Baseball A Tribute

Above, catcher Trace Slancik talks with Matt Van Dyken (15) on the mound.

2020 at a Glance

  • Roster Size: 34
  • Returners: 24
  • Captains: Junior Evan Maday, senior Mason Opple, senior CJ Otteman, senior Trace Slancik
  • MIAA Preseason Poll: Second

2019 Recaps

Regular season: The Flying Dutchmen finished with a 31-11 overall record, reaching the 30-win mark for the first time in team history. Highlights included two no-hitters thrown during the annual spring break trip to Florida — a first in team history. Off the field, the Flying Dutchmen earned the American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award for the 2018-19 season.

MIAA Play: The Flying Dutchmen posted a 19-9 league record that was good for second place. Hope finished runner-up in the MIAA Tournament, losing to regular-season champion Adrian College in the championship game.

Photo Left; Mason Opple in right field

2020 Baseball Roster

The Flying Dutchmen roster consists of six seniors, 10 juniors, nine sophomores and nine freshmen. There are seven starters returning.

“I love this group of guys. I love what they stand for. I love how they compete. It's just a group of guys that really like being around each other." — Head Coach Stu Fritz

Key Returner

Senior catcher Trace Slancik registered career-highs with a .371 batting average and 42 runs batted in last season while playing 40 of 42 games behind the plate. He claimed All-MIAA First Team honors. Slancik hit .377 with 28 runs scored during MIAA play while starting all 28 MIAA games.

Key Returner

Senior right fielder Mason Opple received All-Region and All-MIAA honors in 2019. He was chosen a third-team outfielder in the Mideast Region by d3baseball.com and a first-team outfielder by MIAA coaches. Opple batted .369 last season with a career-high 48 runs batted in. He has 119 career runs batted in, which is currently tied for the most in team history.

Key Returner

Junior center fielder Evan Maday led the MIAA with 19 stolen bases in league play during the 2019 season and earned All-MIAA First Team honors. Overall, he batted .351 with 41 runs scored. Maday moves back to the leadoff position after batting third in the lineup last season.

Other Hope Players to Watch

From left, top, pitcher CJ Otteman and third baseman Joey Merucci; middle, pitcher Max Gaishin and pitcher Shane Hykin; bottom, shortstop Brant Kym and first baseman Ted Eppinga (31).
Reliever Matt VanDyken delivers a pitch.

Head Coach Stu Fritz

Stu Fritz is in his 27th season leading the Flying Dutchmen. He has a career record of 578-435-2, including a 411-225 MIAA record for a .646 win percentage. In 2020, Fritz is the president for the American Baseball Coaches Association after serving the organization as a Vice President. He also previously chaired the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships committee. In January, Fritz was an instructor at an International Sports Group baseball clinic in Switzerland for the second time in four years. He is an assistant professor of kinesiology at Hope.

Assistant Coach Bios

Catcher Cal Barrett

Baseball by the Numbers

  • 11 — Baseball players who made the MIAA Honor Roll with GPAs of 3.5 or higher.
  • 18 — Number of doubles for Mason Opple in 2019, a school record
  • 121 — Career RBIs for Mason Opple, a new record set in the 2020 season.
  • 166 — Evan Maday’s school-record number of at-bats when he batted leadoff as a freshman.
  • 247 — Strikeouts by Hope pitchers in 333 2/3 innings last season.
Hope baseball games are playing at Boeve Stadium
The Flying Dutchmen play at Boeve Stadium located on the campus of Hope College.

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Created By
Alan Babbitt
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Credits:

Michael Wilson, Lynne Powe, Tom Renner