BAY CITY, Mich. -- Ohio Dominican's baseball team was projected to finish ninth out of 11 teams in the GLIAC Preseason Coaches poll.
The Panthers received 29 points in the poll. Grand Valley State received seven first place votes and was picked to win the conference.
Under the direction of first year head coach Chris Antonides, the Panthers bring back plenty of experience in its lineup and pitching rotation entering 2017.
Eight players who started 24 or more games will return for the Panthers this season, including redshirt junior outfielder Lee Sponseller, who fought through injury to hit .344 with six home runs and 32 RBI with a .477 on base percentage in 36 games. Senior second baseman Tony Evans, who was also limited to 29 games due to injury, batted .327 with 21 RBIs, and junior first baseman Justin Childers broke out last year to hit .327 with a team-high eight home runs and 38 RBIs.
Sophomore catcher Colin Kaucher batted .300 with 24 RBIs in his debut season, junior outfielder Cody Paterniti finished with a .298 average, and sophomore outfielder Genesis Hillard hit .277 with seven doubles. Senior shortstop Kyle Burson batted .273 while playing sparkling defense, and junior Max Banke made 24 starts as well.
Sophomore Brad Wilson had a strong campaign, going 5-4 with a 3.61 ERA and striking out 64 hitters in 67.1 innings. Senior Joe Filosa and junior Matt Kittelberger also picked up three wins on the mound. ODU also returns sophomores Mitchell Bault, who started 10 games, and Garret Sendelbach, who made seven starts.
Chris Antonides Interview