GREENSBORO, N.C.--The American Baseball Coaches Association on Tuesday announced the 2019 ABCA/Rawlings all-region teams for NCAA Division III, and Adrian College was well represented with five standouts including junior catcher Gunner Rainey (Adrian, Mich./Madison High School), sophomore shortstop Thomas Miller (Saline, Mich.), senior utility Dugan Darnell (Northville, Mich.) landing on the first team; freshman pitcher Max Denny (South Lyon, Mich.) pegged to the second team; and sophomore pitcher Mo Hanley (Tampa, Fla./Chamberlain HS) made the third unit.
The Bulldogs had the most honorees on the first team with three to tie a program record (2017 also had a trio), followed by Denison and Wooster with two apiece. This also marks the debut for each Adrian student-athlete on the coaches' all-region teams.
The teams are voted on by members of the ABCA and the process is led by the ABCA NCAA Division III All-America Committee. ABCA/Rawlings All-Region First Team selections are nominated for ABCA/Rawlings All-America honors. The ABCA/Rawlings NCAA D-III All-Americans will be announced Thursday evening following the Opening Ceremonies at the Div. III World Series. The ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove teams for all divisions will be announced Wednesday, June 19.
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.
A 2019 D3baseball.com All-America fourth-team selection, Darnell had a career year offensively and also made his 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 member 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 graduate 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.
Miller, a two-time MIAA Player of the Week (April 8-15) and first-team all-conference honoree, made an immediate impact in the Adrian lineup after transferring from NCAA Division I Oakland University after his freshman year. Miller tied teammate Rainey for the MIAA lead with 50 RBI. Miller also topped the conference with 100 total bases and 186 at-bats and ranked second with 71 hits, third with a .382 batting average and 49 runs scored, fourth with a .538 slugging percentage and four sacrifice flies, fifth with 13 doubles, sixth with four home runs and 11th with a .438 on-base percentage. During a 13-game hitting streak earlier this spring, the sports management major set a MIAA-record by going 6-for-6 in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Olivet on April 7.
All told, Adrian has produced more than 30 different Bulldogs who have earned ABCA all-region distinction more than 50 times since 1997.
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About the ABCA
The ABCA All-America team was first recognized in 1949 and now includes nine divisions: NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, Pacific Association Division, and high school. ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove teams were first recognized in 2007.
The Chair of the ABCA NCAA Div. III All-America & Coach of the Year Committee is Paul Hesse of the University of Mount Union. Also on the committee are Derek Carlson (Brandeis University), Dean Glus (The College of New Jersey), Ray Hedrick (Randolph-Macon College), Luke Johnson (North Park University), Scott Laverty (Chapman University), Corey Paluga (Elmira College) and Kevin Tomasiewicz (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh).
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 11,000 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 76th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 2-5, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide. Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes of all skill levels. Rawlings' unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings. Rawlings is the Official Ball Supplier and Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and an approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit Rawlings.com or by phone at (314) 819-2800.