The 2015 Kalamazoo College baseball team was picked to finish fifth by the MIAA baseball coaches as announced by the league on Friday.
Preseason poll results (first-place votes in parenthesis): 1. Adrian (7) 7 pts. 2. Hope 13 (1). 3. Calvin 26. 4. Albion 28. 5. Kalamazoo 30. 6. Trine 34. 7. Alma 37. 8. Olivet 49.
Kalamazoo finished fourth in 2014 and earned its first-ever trip to the MIAA Tournament.
"We are excited about the upcoming season, especially coming off the momentum of making the tournament last season and returning the majority of our roster," said Kalamazoo Head Coach Mike Ott. "Our league is extremely balanced and while the pre-season poll provides some early insights and conversation heading into the season, it has no bearing on the outcome. Last season we were projected to be in last place so it has little to do with how things will transpire and doesn't effect our preparation and goals."
Kalamazoo returns several key players from a team that finished 15-13 in the MIAA (17-25 overall). Senior outfielder Scott Devine, a second team All-MIAA selection last year, led the Hornets in home runs (4), RBIs (34) and stolen bases last season. Also returning are outfielder Ian Kobernick, who led the team in hitting (.377), and junior lefthander Dylan Pierce, a second team All-MIAA selection who led Kalamazoo in earned run average (2.58), innings pitched and strikeouts. Shortstop Mitchell VanKoevering (.333, 7 doubles, 5 triples) and Aaron Schwark (5-2, 3.14 ERA) also return for the Hornets.
Kalamazoo is scheduled to begin the season March 7 at Earlham College.