Sinclair Community College Head Coach, Steve Dintaman, has announced the schedule for the 2017 season, which will be his 10th season at the helm of the Tartan Pride. “As always, I’m very excited about our schedule for the upcoming season,” said Dintaman. “We’ve once again scheduled some tough non-conference games, and we’ll play eight regional opponents before conference play begins March 31st. After finishing 3rd in last year’s World Series, our goals have changed. Win the Conference, win the Regional, and win the World Series.”
Last season Sinclair finished 53-12, setting a school record for wins, winning their first Region 12 Championship. It wasn’t easy, as they had to win three games at the Sub-Regional to get their Regional bid. After winning their first two games, they were once again matched up with Kellogg but this time there was a different fate. Sinclair won 3-2 and 13-5, sending them to their first ever World Series appearance. Off the field, eighteen players moved on to four-year schools to continue their playing careers, and seventeen left with degrees.
The 2017 campaign will begin down at Perfect Game at LakePoint in Georgia. The Pride will play a three game set with Georgia Highlands College, who plays their home games at the facility. “GHC has a strong program and with first year Coach Dash O’Neill in charge, they will only continue to get better. Coach O’Neill is used to winning, and did a great job at Chattahoochee Valley, where he spent the past twelve years. Our guys will be very excited to get going and will be ready to compete.”
Once they return home from Georgia, the Pride play their next eighteen out of twenty-one non-conference games at Grady’s Field, hosting some of the best teams in the region. Three of the seven regional teams coming to town played in last year’s regional tournament.
The Pride will start their home stand with a midweek contest against Henry Ford, before hosting Glen Oaks and St. Clair that weekend.
In a rematch of the last two regional finals, preseason #14 Kellogg makes their annual trip to Grady’s Field the second weekend of March. “Kellogg is a very good program and this series always brings value to both clubs. Coach Laskovy is one of the best in our game, and we know the road to Enid will always go through Battle Creek.”
Following the Kellogg series, Sinclair will continue to play quality Region 12 opponents hosting Muskegon for a midweek doubleheader, Grand Rapids for a weekend set, and Macomb for a midweek doubleheader. “Playing at Grady’s Field allows us to host some of the best teams in our region. Fans can expect to see quality baseball all month long.”
The only road series of the month will be played at Potomac State College in West Virginia. “From 2009-2014, Potomac State was a mainstay on our schedule and we’re excited to renew the series. Coach Little is a Hall-Of-Fame Coach, and one of the most respected individuals in college baseball. His teams play the game the right way and will once again be looking to head to the World Series.” After that series, the Tartans host Kalamazoo Valley in their final tune-up before conference play.
The landscape of the OCCAC has once again changed with the loss of Owens and the addition of Mercyhurst North East. Sinclair will get the first opportunity to play MNE, and will be the only conference team to open up that weekend. The conference season will be five weekends, of four games series, which equals twenty games. In the middle of the conference season, Sinclair will play non-conference games midweek highlighted by a home and home series with Region 12 member Vincennes. This year will also feature a rare non-conference road trip, as the Pride head to Kalamazoo Valley for a three game set.
All of the home games will be broadcasted live on the Gem City Sports Network this season, and follow the website for special promotion games.
Following the conference season is the regional tournament which returns to Battle Creek, Michigan. This event is held in the middle of May, and the winner will head to Enid, Oklahoma for the NJCAA DII World Series.
“I’m very proud of the schedule we have put together and thankful that we get to play so many games at Grady’s Field. The turf allows us to play 56 games every year, and this year we are really excited about the twenty-nine nine inning games on the schedule. This will give our players more opportunities and allow us to develop our pitching staff. Our focus is always to play the best teams year in and year out, and to play the best competition in the region. This year’s team has put in a lot of work and will be ready on February 24th for the journey to the 580. Hope to see you at Grady’s Field this spring. ROLL PRIDE!”