Is Eastern Michigan University the dark horse of the Mac west division this season?
The Eagles are projected to finish fifth this season in the MAC west, and while that may look accurate on paper, this team is quietly a team to watch for by season's end. The Eagles only lost 9 seniors last season 7 of which were pitchers, and that bodes well for the eagles offensively. Leading the way are seniors Sam Ott, and Adam Sonabend. While niether player will be crushing the ball over the fence very often they both find ways to get on base for the Eagles. Both players had an over 400% OBP, which means the Eagles can score runs early and often if these guys are on the base paths.With Lee Longo providing the power, and only 1 outfielder to replace the Eagles offense could be a scary opponent at the plate for any opponent they face.
Paul Schaak looks to be the ace of the staff as the only returning starting pitcher from a season ago. He will need to improve upon his 5.46 ERA, but his 61 innings pitched ranked 3rd amongst the starters and proves he is capable of going deep into games if he can limit the runs allowed. The rest of the young pitchers will need to mature quickly and provide the Eagles with an oppurtunity to win games. A trip down south this weekend may give us an idea of what these young pitchers are capable of, as they will have to deal will the Clemson Tigers.
On paper this team does not look like the team to beat but as we all know if games were won on paper we would never need to play the games to determine a victor. It may seem like a long shot, but with an experienced lineup and a coach that has lead the Eagles to the playoffs in 3 of the past 4 seasons this team could be a dark horse to watch rise from out of the shadows.