Ball State baseball picked to finish 2nd in MAC preseason coaches' poll

<p>The Ball State baseball team took on Eastern Michigan on April 5 at Ball Diamond. Ball State won 20-5.</p>

The Ball State baseball team took on Eastern Michigan on April 5 at Ball Diamond. Ball State won 20-5.

MAC East Predictions (1st place votes)

1. Kent State — 63 points (9)
2. Ohio — 55 points (2)
3. Bowling Green — 43 points
4. Miami — 37 points
5. Buffalo — 22 points

MAC West Predictions (1st place votes)

1. Central Michigan — 56 points (6)
2. Ball State — 53 points (3)
3. Western Michigan — 42 points (1)
4. Toledo — 41 points
5. Northern Illinois — 24 points (1)
6. Eastern Michigan — 15 points

TOURNAMENT CHAMPION VOTES: Kent State (4), Central Michigan (2), Ball State (1), Bowling Green (1), Miami (1), NIU (1), Western Michigan (1)

Ball State baseball was picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Divison in the MAC coaches' preseason poll.

The Cardinals also have high expectations after finishing 2015 with a 33-25 (14-13 MAC) record.

Three of the 11 MAC coaches — the MAC has 12 teams but Akron shuttered its baseball program for the 2015 season — picked Ball State to win the MAC West, but six picked Central Michigan to finish first in the division. Ball State will play a three-game series against the Chippewas in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. April 15-17.

Kent State is favorite to win the MAC Tournament after four coaches picked the Golden Flashes to win the tournament and nine picked them to win the MAC East. Two others predicted Central Michigan will win and five other schools, including Ball State, split the rest of the votes.

The Cardinals will not play Kent State in MAC play, but the two teams will face off in the Russ Matt Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla., Feb. 27.

Ball State starts its season Friday in Surprise, Ariz., against the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association's fifth-best team in the country, Oregon State.


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