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2021 Hope College Baseball Preview A Look at the Flying Dutchmen

The Flying Dutchmen at an intra-squad scrimmage last fall

2021 at a Glance

  • Roster Size: 37
  • Returners: 25
  • Captains: Seniors Evan Becker, Max Gaishin, Brant Kym, Evan Maday, and Joey Merucci
  • MIAA Preseason Poll: Second

2020 Recap

Regular season: The Flying Dutchmen went 1-2 in early March before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled their season.

Photo Left; Senior pitcher Kameron Miller

2021 Baseball Roster

The Flying Dutchmen roster consists of 10 seniors, 10 juniors, six sophomores and 11 freshmen. There are seven starters returning.

"We have a veteran group. We always look to pitching and defense. Positionally. we have six returning starters and (junior) Spencer Cable is a transfer from Central Michigan. He's a Hudsonville product who has come in and really fits into our program very nicely. . . I think we're very talented, quite possibly as talented as we've been in my 28 years. Now, we have to determine if we're any good — and I mean that tongue in cheek. I think we're good, but it's still about going out on the field and performing." -- Head Coach Stu Fritz

Senior Captains

Evan Becker is a business major who plays outfield for the Flying Dutchmen. He batted .308 in Hope's last full season in 2019.
Brant Kym is Hope's shortstop. A business and economic double major, he is a .319 career hitter and .932 fielder in three previous seasons (78 games) for the Flying Dutchmen.
Max Gaishin has a 8.19 strikeout rate per nine innings. He majors in elementary education - integrated science.
Evan Maday is a two-time All-MIAA First Team centerfielder who majors in civil engineering. He is a career .353 hitter with 82 runs scored, 50 RBIs, and 46 stolen bases over three seasons and 86 games.
Joey Merucci plays third base for the Flying Dutchmen. He is a .310 career hitter with .915 fielding at the "hot corner." He majors in business.

Other Veteran Players to Watch

Top photo, Senior first baseman Ted Eppinga; second photo, Senior catcher Cal Barrett; Third photo, Senior pitcher Al Vasquez; Bottom photo, Senior pitcher Sean Hoey

2021 Baseball Schedule

The Flying Dutchmen began their 2021 season on the road at Milliken University (Illinois) on Saturday, March 6 and 7, falling twice to the Big Blue. Hope opens at home in Boeve Stadium on Friday, March 12 against Olivet College at 3:30 p.m. It is a non-league contest. The official MIAA schedule begins on March 26.

"Playing MIAA teams before the official league season will really be like a spring trip. We want to get young guys opportunities. We want to just see where we're at coming into the games that count." -- Head Coach Stu Fritz
"We filled out the preseason coaches poll, and oftentimes I will know other team's rosters as well as I know my own and I had to do a little bit more thinking on that. . . . Adrian is the team to beat, and we've had some great games with them. I hate to think about the number of times that we've played them in the MIAA championship game, but a lot of credit to them and what they're doing in their program." -- Head Coach Stu Fritz
"As you look across the league, I think there's a lot of parity in terms of programs that have just gotten better. Guys work hard at it from a coaching standpoint and recruiting standpoint. The one thing I can tell you is it doesn't matter who you're playing, there is never a game off. And maybe that goes without saying a little bit for our sport because you never know what's going to happen. But when I look at the MIAA, I think there's some really good baseball teams in our league and some really good people." -- Head Coach Stu Fritz

Head Coach Stu Fritz

Stu Fritz is in his 28th season leading the Flying Dutchmen. He has a career record of 579-437-2. His teams have won nearly two-thirds of their MIAA conference games (411-225, .646) while winning nine league titles.

In 2020, Fritz was 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, 2020, Fritz was an instructor at an International Sports Group baseball clinic in Switzerland for the second time in four years.

He is an associate professor of kinesiology at Hope.

Assistant Coach Bios

Baseball by the Numbers

  • 3.28 — GPA of the 2020 team that earned the American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award
  • 11 — Home runs by former Hope player and associate head coach Chad Ruby '98, a single season record.
  • 13 — Stolen bases needed by Evan Maday to surpass the school record held by Mitch Van Putten (1982-85).
  • 21 — Wins needed for head coach Stu Fritz to reach 600 victories in his Hope career.
  • 28 — Runs in a seven-inning game versus Alma College in 2010 by the Flying Dutchmen, a Hope scoring record against an MIAA opponent. The Flying Dutchmen scored a school-record 20 runs in the third inning, sending 25 batters to the plate.
  • 1872 — Year that Hope played its first baseball game, a 12-3 loss to the Grand Haven Eagle Club.
Hope baseball games are played at Boeve Stadium
Boeve Stadium is part of the Buys Athletic Complex on the campus of Hope College.

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Eva Dean Folkert
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Michael Wilson, Lynne Powe, Steven Herppich