2019 Hope College Baseball Preview by Eva Dean Folkert

Pictured above: Hope junior Mason Opple slides into second.

2019 At A Glance

  • Roster size: 32
  • Returners: 22
  • Captains: Senior Jordon Fairchild, senior Nick Lepore, junior Mason Opple
  • 2019 MIAA Preseason Poll: Second place
  • 2018 Regular Season Recap: Hope finished with an overall record of 18-24 last year and was 14-14 in MIAA play to tie for fourth place.
  • 2018 MIAA Tournament Recap: In winning eight of their last 12 games, the Flying Dutchmen advanced to the championship final of the MIAA Tournament. As the third seed, Hope lost a nail-biter to MIAA champion and top-seeded Adrian College, 3-2, in the final game. It took an eighth-inning Adrian rally, and their top pitcher, to stop the Flying Dutchmen's bid for a tournament title.

Pictured: Evan Maday takes off for third base.

Evan Maday, left, and Mason Opple, center, greet Jordon Fairchild at home plate after a Fairchild homerun.

2019 Roster

The Flying Dutchmen's roster consists of four seniors, seven juniors, 11 sophomores and 10 freshmen. Three returning players earned All-MIAA honors in 2018: Sophomore centerfielder Evan Maday was a first-team selection while senior shortstop Jordon Fairchild and junior rightfielder Mason Opple were selected as second-team honorees.

"Last year we were very talented but very young. This year, we are solid with a little more veteran group positionally. From a pitching standpoint, that's where we're the most wide open right now. . . We have to improve on the mound, but I think we are poised to do that." — Head Coach Stuart Fritz
Senior Nick Lepore advances on base.

Key Returners:

  • Jordon Fairchild moves from shortstop to second base for the 2019 season. In 2018, he turned 15 double plays. At the plate, he batted .343 with 49 hits which included 12 doubles.
  • Sophomore righthander Sean Hoey will lead Hope's pitching rotation. His ERA in 2018 was 4.93 with a team-high 49 strikeouts.
  • Sophomore Brant Kym plays both third base and shortstop. In 2018, he hit .344 with 19 RBIs and fielded .951 in 32 games.
  • Centerfielder Evan Maday led Hope in six statistical offensive categories in 2018: plate appearances — 166; batting average — .373; hits — 62; runs scored — 39; triples — 5; and, stolen bases — 19.
  • Junior rightfielder Mason Opple was the Hope leader in home runs (5) and RBIs (35) in 2018.
  • Junior right-handed pitcher CJ Otteman made a Hope-record 23 appearances in relief in 2018; He had an ERA of 2.45 with six saves and 31 strikeouts.
  • Catcher Trace Slancik batted .333, and he had a team second-best fielding average of .984 in 2018.

Brant Kym plays both third base and shortstop for the Flying Dutchmen.

Reliever CJ Otteman on the mound.

Jordon Fairchild about to send a pitch over the fence.

TOP LEFT: Junior catcher Trace Slancik signals to the dugout; TOP RIGHT: Sophomore righthander Sean Hoey on the mound; BOTTOM: Junior rightfielder Mason Opple at the plate.

2019 Baseball Schedule

The Flying Dutchmen open their 2019 season with a non-league doubleheader at Franklin College (Indiana) on Monday, March 11. Next, they play seven games in Florida on their spring break trip (March 15-20). When Hope returns home, the team competes at Boeve Stadium against MIAA rival Calvin College on Saturday, March 23. The MIAA and home opening doubleheader versus the Knights starts at 1 p.m.

2019 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Stuart Fritz

In his 25 years as head coach of the Hope College baseball team, Stu Fritz has guided the Flying Dutchmen to nine MIAA championships and four NCAA Division III appearances. Fritz's collegiate coaching record through the 2018 season is 547-424-2. His teams have won nearly two-thirds of their MIAA conference games (392-216, .645). Also an assistant professor of kinesiology, Fritz is currently a vice-president for the American Baseball Coaches Association. In 2020, he'll assume the presidency of the ABCA.

"We've got a great group of guys who truly care about each other. We just have great leadership. We really do. We have go-to guys both on the field and off the field and it has been fun." — Coach Stuart Fritz
Sophomore pitcher Max Gaishin is congratulated by catcher Trace Slancik.

By The Numbers

  • .313. Team batting average in 2018.
  • 264. Runs scored in 2018.
  • 52. Stolen bases in 2018.
  • 17. Home runs slugged in 2018.
  • 6.36. Earned run average in 2018.
  • 10-4. Home record in Boeve Stadium last season.

Hope's Home Field Advantage

The Flying Dutchmen play their home games at Boeve Stadium on Hope's campus.
Built in 2008, Boeve Stadium seats approximately 400 spectators and has a fan-friendly patio area.
Created By
Eva Dean Folkert


Photos by Lynne Powe and Michael Wilson

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