Max Denny Tabbed Rookie of the Year to Lead Four D3baseball All-Region Standouts

Mideast Rookie of the Year freshman LHP Max Denny joins two teammates on the D3baseball.com First Team as Adrian College places four standouts on the all-region teams. (Graphic by Patrick Stewart)
Mideast Rookie of the Year freshman LHP Max Denny joins two teammates on the D3baseball.com First Team as Adrian College places four standouts on the all-region teams. (Graphic by Patrick Stewart)

2019 D3baseball All-Mideast Region Team l Complete all-region teams

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--After a record-breaking season, Adrian College landed four selections on the 2019 D3baseball.com All-Mideast Region first, second and third teams that were announced on Thursday. The Bulldogs tied fellow NCAA Tournament-team Denison for the most student-athletes on the first team including Mideast Rookie of the Year Max Denny (South Lyon, Mich.), junior catcher Gunner Rainey (Adrian, Mich./Madison High School) and senior utility Dugan Darnell (Northville, Mich.). Sophomore starting pitcher Mo Hanley (Tampa, Fla./Chamberlain HS) made the third unit. The trio of Darnell, Denny and Rainey advance to the organization's All-America ballot.

Denny earned Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year and first-team all-conference earlier this month after putting together an impressive first season at the collegiate level. The psychology major tied a school record by starting his freshman campaign with a 9-0 won-lost record, which led the MIAA and ranks 11th in NCAA Division III. He also led the conference with a 2.10 earned-run average and had a fifth-leading 55 strikeouts in 60 innings of work. He won his first two decisions in relief appearances, and since then went 7-0 in nine starts while allowing just 13 earned runs.

Rainey, who started the previous two years in the outfield and is a two-time first-team all-conference performer, recorded personal records in every offensive category in his MIAA Player of the Year season. Rainey went on a 15-game hitting streak to close the regular season, taking the conference's batting title with a .411 average that is 61st in the nation. He also tied for first with 50 runs batted in, who is tied for 40th nationally. He also had MIAA top rankings with 76 hits and 20 doubles for sixth and 11th in Division III. He also was sixth in the MIAA with a .452 on-base percentage and seventh in slugging at .519. The social studies major was a D3baseball.com Team of the Week honoree for March 5. Rainey is the Bulldogs' active leader with 191 career hits, which ranks in seventh place on the AC all-time chart.

Like many of his teammates, Darnell had a career year offensively--and also making a mark on the mound for the first time in his collegiate career to show his versatility as a utilityman . He notched career bests of 41 runs scored, 48 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 43 RBI, 26 walks and .497 slugging while batting .314 and getting on base 46.0 percent of the time. The May 7 D3baseball TOW member and first-team All-MIAA was hit by a pitch 18 times--one shy of a school record to top the conference and ranking eighth in the nation. In addition, the marketing major posted a league-best and school record eight saves for 14th in the NCAA while holding opponents to a .081 batting average, 0.39 ERA and whopping 37 strikeouts in 23.0 innings. 

Twice named MIAA Pitcher of the Week on April 8 and April 29 and all-conference first team, Hanley emerged as an important starter in the rotation after beginning his Bulldogs career as a reliever. He compiled career bests (with MIAA rankings in parentheses) of 2.49 ERA (2nd), 71 strikeouts (1st), 10.42 strikeouts per 9 innings (1st), .172 opponents' batting average (9th) and 61.1 innings (5th). The marketing major finished 5-1 on the season. He ranked 17th in Division III by giving up only 5.75 hits per nine innings.

Since D3baseball began its all-region awards program, 22 different Bulldogs have been named 31 times. This also marks the debut for the Adrian quartet.

The Bulldogs have produced the last three D3baseball rookies of the year for the Mideast Region, including pitchers Pierce Banks in 2017 and Jordan Williams in 2018 and now Denny.

The D3baseball All-America announcement is scheduled for next week at the NCAA Division III World Series.

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