Ball State’s baseball team congratulates each other after winning the first game of a doubleheader against Dayton on March 18. Seven Cardinals were named Academic All-MAC for their performance both on the field and in the classroom. DN FILE PHOTO GRACE RAMEY
Seven Cardinals named Academic All-MAC
Awards keep rolling in for Ball State baseball as seven Cardinals were named to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference team.
Junior first baseman Caleb Stayton led the Cardinals both on the field and in the classroom. He was first on the team (and in the MAC) with a .377 batting average and 71 RBIs, while his 3.907 GPA in telecommunications was the highest among Ball State's Academic All-MAC honorees.
Stayton was also named an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America earlier this month, along with junior Alex Call.
Ball State Academic All-MAC players
BJ Butler, junior, RHP, 3.871, information systems
Alex Call, junior, OF, 3.838, entrepreneurial management
Matt Eppers, junior, OF, 3.578, entrepreneurial management
Matt Haro, senior, LHP, 3.265, business administration
Sean Kennedy, junior, 3B, 3.555, business administration
Kevin Marnon, junior, 3.222, finance
Caleb Stayton, junior, 1B, 3.907, telecommunications
Call was named Academic All-MAC after both maintaining a 3.838 GPA in entrepreneurial management and leading the conference with 87 hits, 67 runs, 24 doubles, six triples, 162 total bases and a .667 slugging percentage.
He has won a slew of awards this year, including Louisville Slugger first-team All-America, American Baseball Coaches Association second-team All-America and MAC Player of the Year. He was also taken in the third round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago White Sox.
Right-handed pitcher BJ Butler also earned Academic All-MAC honors after posting a 3.871 GPA while majoring in information systems. He tied for second in the conference with nine saves in the 2016 season, was third with a 1.84 ERA, and totaled 54 strikeouts in 63.2 innings pitched.
Junior right-handed pitcher Kevin Marnon also earned Academic All-MAC honors after transferring to Ball State from Akron last summer. He posted a 4.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched and a 3.222 GPA in finance. Marnon was eligible to play for the Cardinals without sitting out a year because Akron disbanded its baseball program.
Also earning Academic All-MAC honors were junior center fielder Matt Eppers (3.578 GPA, entrepreneurial management), senior left-handed pitcher Matt Haro (3.265 GPA, business administration) and junior third baseman Sean Kennedy (3.555 business administration)
To qualify for the Academic All-MAC team, players must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least half of the team's games, though pitchers are usually held to different playing-time requirments — Marnon, for example, was second in the MAC with 15 games started, just 25.9 percent of the Cardinals' 58 games.