2017 GLIAC Baseball Preseason Poll
View team previews online: http://bit.ly/BASEPoll17
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 7, 2017
Grand Valley State has been tabbed the favorite prior to the start of the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) baseball season, as voted on by league coaches. The Lakers (94 pts, 7 First-Place) will begin the new campaign as the No. 13 team in the nation and No. 1 in the GLIAC, while Wayne State (85 pts, 1 First-Place) and Ashland (81 pts, 3 First-Place) were positioned second and third in the league.
GVSU welcomes back seven starters and 19 letterwinners with experience under their belts. The defending co-GLIAC regular season champions (along with Ashland) and three-time defending conference tournament champions will look to record-setting closer Matt Wiliams for not only his clutch arm but also his performance in the batter's box to keep the momentum going.
Wayne State looks to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014 as the Warriors under head coach Ryan Kelley have played in nine straight GLIAC Tournaments. WSU returns 22 letterwinners and 12 starters after producing one of the best offenses in program history.
The Ashland Eagles are fresh off their third GLIAC regular-season title in the last four seasons and will be led in 2017 by junior J.P. Sorma (.381, 17 HR, 59 RBI), junior Greg Ludwig (.351., 7 HR, 36 RBI) and senior Lance Myers (.345, 2 HR, 39 RBI) as the John Schaly guided program will be fueled by its offense.
All-region honoree Luke Caple (GLIAC-best 65 RBI) looks to propel an experienced No. 4 Walsh squad who made a dramatic run to last year's GLIAC Tournament title game. The Cavs bring back 11 of 13 individuals who recorded hits last season as well as top starter Matt Iosue who recorded 7.58 strikeouts per nine innings.
Northwood is slated fifth in the preseason poll with 23 upperclassmen returning, including senior Grant Bridgewater who hit .345 last season while Connor Foley finished at .338. At No. 6 sits Saginaw Valley who looks to rebound with the help of senior lefthanded pitcher Scott Sency and reigning GLIAC Freshman of the Year in shortstop Jordan Swiss as the Cardinals are poised for a solid 2017 season.
The baseball poll is rounded out by: No. 7 Hillsdale, No. 8 Tiffin, No. 9 Ohio Dominican, No. 10 Findlay and No. 11 Lake Erie.
The 2017 season gets underway Thursday, February 16th with teams heading to Spring Break competition with the GLIAC regular season scheduled to begin Saturday, March 18th. The GLIAC Tournament will once again be hosted at the Athletes in Action Sports Complex in Xenia, Ohio on May 11-14.
Copyright GLIAC 2017. All rights reserved.