Four Bulldogs Cited on "Players to Watch" List in 2019 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preview Edition

Adrian representatives on the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Players to Watch List for NCAA Division III are, pictured left to right, Gunner Rainey, Pierce Banks, Jordan Williams and Brady Wood. (Action photos by Mike Dickie)
Adrian representatives on the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Players to Watch List for NCAA Division III are, pictured left to right, Gunner Rainey, Pierce Banks, Jordan Williams and Brady Wood. (Action photos by Mike Dickie)

TUCSON, Ariz.--Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has compiled its list of NCAA Division III Players to Watch in 2019, according to D-III head coaches, and four Adrian College standouts are cited in the publication's January 4 preview issue. The Bulldogs honored are junior right-handed pitcher Pierce Banks (Sterling Heights, Mich./Parkway Christian High School), junior catcher Gunner Rainey (Adrian, Mich./Madison HS), junior first baseman Brady Wood (Frankenmuth, Mich.), and sophomore right-hander Jordan Williams (Westland, Mich./Lutheran Westland HS).

Wood, who mostly played second base last season, led the offense with a .399/.458/.554 slashline with 14 doubles and 34 runs batted in, earning first-team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association accolades. Wood tied a single-game school record with five hits in the MIAA finale at Hope.

Rainey, who has patrolled left field in his previous two seasons with the Bulldogs, also made the all-conference first team after career highs in batting average (.344), on-base percentage (.401), slugging (.411), runs scored (39), hits (62) and RBI (32). He became the 38th Bulldog in school history to reach 100 career hits on May 5, 2018, at Hope.

The mound is occupied by the formidable pair of Williams and Banks who were named first and second-team all-conference, respectively, last spring. Williams leads a returning Adrian pitching staff with an 8-1 record with three saves and 2.07 earned-run average in 74 innings (66 strikeouts) as he also landed a spot on the ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com All-Mideast Region second teams as a freshman. Banks had a solid sophomore effort that included a 7-2 mark, 4.21 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 72.2 innings. (Banks was second-team all-region by ABCA as a 2017 freshman.)

Earlier this month, Adrian placed 26th in the CBN Preseason Top-40 national rankings which are endorsed by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Adrian received 215 points as the only MIAA representative earning votes.

The Bulldogs open the 2019 season on Saturday, March 2, at Birmingham Southern College.

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