posted May 24, 2007

All-Region Baseball Honors Awarded Hope Players

Three members of Hope's All-MIAA baseball squad have been named to the Rawlings/ABCA All-Mideast Region team.

Junior shortstop Brian Baker of Holland (West Ottawa HS) has been named to the All-Region first team while sophomore first baseman Matt VanderVelde of Grandville (Grandville HS) and senior pitcher Mike Rodgers of Saline (Saline HS) are second team honorees.

The All-Region teams are selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association.  The All-Mideast region includes NCAA Division III teams in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Hope's honorees were members of a Flying Dutchmen team that won a school-record 29 games (29-13), won the MIAA championship, and qualified for the NCAA Division III championships.

Baker and Rodgers were honored as the MIAA's most valuable player and pitcher respectively.   Rodgers posted a 7-3 season record, including 7-1 in league games with a 1.15 earned run average.  VanderVelde and Bakker each batted over .400 on the season and in league games.  VanderVelde batted .425 on the season, including .456 in the MIAA while Baker hit .414 in all games and .433 in the league.

Other players from MIAA schools being honored include Albion senior third baseman Derek Tracy (first team) and Olivet senior outfielder Chris Shelhart (third team).