Manchester University, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference final four participants in 18 of the last 20 seasons, was selected for another such ending with the release of the 2017 league baseball coaches poll Wednesday, Jan. 25.
Coach Rick Espeset's Spartans received 84 points for a second-place standing, trailing only preseason favorite Earlham College. The Quakers picked up 98 points and eight first-place votes, while defending regular season and tournament champion Rose-Hulman was tabbed third (78 points and two first-place votes).
A quintet of upperclassmen was noted in the Players to Watch section. They were senior pitcher Cory Ferguson (Fort Wayne, Ind.), senior first baseman Tailur Szarenski (Bluffton, Ind.), and senior outfielder Chad Schultz (Fair Oaks, Ind.) along with junior pitchers Brandon Eck (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Taylor Kopplin (Westport, Ind.).
Manchester University is scheduled to open its 2016 season Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5 against Denison University at Veterans Administration Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.