The Ashland University baseball team was picked to win the GLIAC championship in the preseason coaches' poll the league announced on Friday (Feb. 8) morning.
The Eagles had a bounce-back season in 2018, finishing third in the GLIAC with a 16-12 record in league play. Ashland was 33-22 overall and qualified for its 15th NCAA Tournament in the 21-year tenure of head coach John Schaly.
Ashland has won five GLIAC titles under Schaly – in 2000, 2003, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
The Eagles return eight of their 10 regular position players from last season when they finished third in the GLIAC in runs scored. With a talented group of newcomers joining the returners, the Eagles figure to be deeper than in the recent past.
Ashland returns three All-GLIAC position players, including first team selection, junior DH/first baseman Carson Mittermaier, who hit .381 last season with four homers, 12 doubles and 50 RBI. He reached base at a .466 clip. Senior infielder Matt Littrell was a second team choice and sophomore infielder Austin Eifrid was named to the honorable mention list.
The entire weekend rotation is back from a season ago, led by All-GLIAC second team selection and preseason all-region standout Devin Peters. Peters was 8-5 with a 4.32 ERA last season while leading the GLIAC in strikeouts (98) and innings pitched (89 2/3). Junior Chance Hitchcock was named to the All-GLIAC second team after going 6-5 with a 4.50 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 86 innings.
The Eagles will begin their season Feb. 23 with a doubleheader against Rockhurst and Trevecca Nazarene in Nashville, Tenn. The home season commences March 13 against Tiffin.
The full GLIAC preseason coaches' poll follows.
|Team (First-Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Ashland (4)||44|
|2. Northwood (3)||43|
|3. Davenport (1)||37|
|4. Grand Valley State||33|
|5. Wayne State||28|
|6. Saginaw Valley||17|
|7. Purdue Northwest||13|