Postcards from a travel day to the 2023 Men's and Women's MAC Championship

The Ball State Daily News has four reporters and three photographers up in Cleveland for the 2023 Men’s and Women’s Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament. 

First-years Brayden Goins, Zach Carter and Elijah Poe traveled with second-years Derran Cobb, Amber Pietz, Jacy Bradley and Kyle Smedley. 

Day 1 

Meeting at 10:30 a.m. at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, the seven settled the debate between Concannon's Bakery in Muncie and Long's Bakery in Indianapolis. After both sides debated which was better, it was a split, with the Muncie natives sticking with Concannon's and those from elsewhere going with Long's. 

Goins thought to visit a lighthouse at Grand Lake St. Mary’s State Park Campground outside of Lima, Ohio, around 12:30 p.m. After around an hour and a half drive there, the crew was excited to see a lighthouse. Instead, we saw a spot where the lighthouse once stood, however it was no longer, as it was later discovered the landmark had been destroyed. 

The next stop was Mansfield, Ohio, and the crew’s first stop was the Reindeer Grill with a striking 4.6-star review on Yelp. The meal also came with complimentary garlic knots, with Smedley being a huge fan of their authentic taste. 

On the way to our next stop, I kid you not, a wooden barrel rolled out in front of the car and rolled down a hill behind us. A wooden barrel!

Once the crew cleared the Donkey Kong-esque obstacle, the next stop was the historic Ohio State Reformatory, where “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed. Simply put, this building was absolutely awesome. 

After arriving at the hotel around 5 p.m., dinner was at Melt Bar and Grilled a couple of hours later. The restaurant was very unique in how it was decorated, with neon signs and historic photos littering the walls and shelves.

Around 10 p.m., we decided to head back to the hotel and get work done for the first tournament games starting tomorrow for women’s basketball, as the Cardinals take on Akron in the fourth game of March 8’s slate. 

Contact the crew with comments via email at or on Twitter @dn_sports.