BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--For the first time in 2019, Adrian College has made an appearance in the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top-25 national rankings. And the Bulldogs did so with an impressive statement as the school making the biggest jump in the poll this week, going from "others receiving votes" with 50 points to No. 18 with 165--a stretch of seven spots and 115 points.
Adrian, which also has leaped 14 spots to No. 12 in the first American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (239 points) poll, has bolted to a 7-1 start--its best record after eight games since the 2012 campaign. The Bulldogs own a six-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 72-22 since their only loss of the season to Birmingham Southern--which is now No. 23 D3baseball.com/NCBWA at 15-6--on Opening Day. Three of Adrian's seven wins have come against nationally-ranked teams, including then-No. 13/21 Wisconsin-Oshkosh, then-No. 19/"RV" Piedmont, and then-No. 11/16 SUNY Cortland. In addition, the Bulldogs have defeated a 14-6 Berry College program and six-time NCAA Division III champion Marietta College.
Head coach Craig Rainey's 26th Adrian team bolsters one of the nation's top offenses: fifth in scoring offense (11.1 runs per game), 24th in on-base percentage (.440) and 35th in batting average (.333). They have also excelled in other aspects of the game evidenced by a No. 14 national ranking with a 2.54 earned-run average and No. 30 rating in fielding percentage at .972. The Bulldogs' run differential is a plus-56 and the bullpen--just two earned runs allowed over 32 innings, with 33 strikeouts--also has been a key to the team's early-season success.
Adrian's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association individual leaders include freshman pitcher Maxwell Denny in wins (1st, 3-0), junior catcher Gunner Rainey in runs batted in (1st, 14), junior pitcher Pierce Banks in victories (T-2nd, 2-0), senior outfielder Zack Zschering in stolen bases (T-2nd, 5), sophomore pitcher Jordan Williams in strikeouts (3rd, 16) and wins (T-2nd, 2-0), senior designated hitter Korey Mazur in batting average (4th, .452), sophomore shortstop Thomas Miller in RBI (5th, 10).
Trinity-Texas is No. 1 in the D3baseball/NCBWA Top-25 with 18 first-place votes among 616 points and a 15-3 mark.
The Bulldogs' No. 18 D3baseball/NCBWA ranking will be put to the test on Wednesday (4 p.m.) with a non-conference trip to Heidelberg College, which earned 53 points in the "others receiving votes" category.
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(Editor's note: This news release was updated at 6:43 p.m. to reflect the addition of the ABCA/CBN top-30 poll, which was announced after this was published to AdrianBulldogs.com)