Alma, Mich. - The Alma College baseball team continued its trend of record-setting offensive production in 2018 as the Scots served notice to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a late-season run to finish in third place, followed by a strong showing during the program's second-ever MIAA Tournament appearance.
Over the last three seasons under Head Coach Jake Sabol, Alma has re-written the record book, continually putting up offensive totals that rank among the best in program history. In addition, the Scots posted the fourth 20-win season in school history and qualified for the MIAA Baseball Tournament for the second time in the last three years.
Alma finished the season with a record of 24-19, marking the second-most wins in program history. The Scots were also 16-12 in the MIAA, bouncing back from a sixth-place finish in 2017 en route to the second-most conference win totals in school history. Along the way, Alma established new records for doubles, total bases, at bats and RBIs while tying the record for runs scored with the 2016 squad, the only other team to qualify for the conference postseason tournament.
Three Scots landed on the All-MIAA Second Team, including: sophomore Logan Huff (Johannesburg, Mich./Johannesburg-Lewiston), who was named to the tam as a third baseman after hitting a team-high .346 in conference play; senior Matt Minaudo (Clinton Township, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate), who earned a spot on the squad as an outfielder after hitting .368 with a fielding percentage of .986 against league opponents; and senior Eric Frontzak (Naperville, Ill./Montini Catholic), who received recognition as one of three pitchers on the All-MIAA Second Team after posting a 5-0 record against MIAA foes with a 1.99 ERA. In addition, a program-record five players received MIAA Player of the Week accolades.
Alma opened the season with its annual trip to Florida for the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, but unlike previous years, the Scots limited their schedule to one 9-inning game per day. This allowed Alma to schedule road trips to take on Hanover College (IN) and participate in the Wheaton College (IL) Invitational and avoid the weeks-long layoff that traditionally followed the spring break trip.
The Scots finished their season-opening 10-game road trip with a 5-5 record and came home to host Finlandia University at Klenk Park, sweeping the Lions in the first of several cold-weather games as winter kept its grip on the Mid-Michigan area until mid-April.
Alma opened the MIAA portion of the season against defending regular-season champion Adrian College, playing the Bulldogs to a pair of extra-innings losses and a one-run defeat before trouncing Adrian in the series finale, 17-1.
The Scots followed that up with a series win against Albion College before splitting with Trine University (IN) in a series that was extended due to lingering snowfall. Alma opened a four-game set with Hope College, suffering a pair of losses in Holland, before a mid-April ice storm postponed the conclusion of the series.
After an eight-day layoff due to weather and finals week, the weather began to warm up as did the Scots' bats. Alma entered the second half of the conference schedule with a series split against Olivet College before compiling a season-high five-game winning streak, taking two games from Hope before posting a series win over Kalamazoo College, sweeping the Hornets at home for the first time since 2011. Alma finished the regular season as the hottest team in the MIAA, taking three of four games against Calvin College to end the second half of the league schedule 10-4 and finish third in the league standings.
The Scots' third-place finish, coupled with Kalamazoo being ineligible for the postseason, gave Alma a home MIAA Tournament game for the second time in three seasons. The Scots were paired with Hope College in the first round in a rematch of the 2016 MIAA Tournament. Alma out-dueled the Flying Dutchmen, 10-8, in a game that featured four lead changes, but suffered a pair of close defeats on the second day of the tournament, falling to eventual champion Adrian College in the semifinals before being eliminated by Hope.
Logan Huff (.344), Pete Carravallah (.317) and Matt Minaudo (.314) became members of the Scots' .300 club, with Huff posting 54 hits, the second-highest single-season total in program history. Minaudo set the single-season record with 40 RBIs, while sophomore Vann Acker (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) broke a 16-year old record with 16 doubles. Minaudo also finished his career ranked second in a number of career categories, including: games played (149), at bats (498), and runs scored (93). In addition, he ranked third in career hits (143) and career RBIs (87).
On the mound, Eric Frontzak led the staff with a 2.69 ERA and compiled a record of eight wins, becoming one of only four pitchers in program history to notch eight or more victories in a season. Frontzak concluded his career ranked fourth in career wins, tallying 17 over his four years on the pitching staff, including the last two as a starter.
Alma graduates six seniors from the program - Minaudo, Austin Roeske (Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate), Frontzak, Nick Swanson (West Bloomfield, Mich./Notre Dame Prep), Adam Martinson (North Riverside, Ill./Morton College), and Ben Finzel (Saginaw, Mich./USC Salkehatchie).