MAC Bats Preview: Tis the Third Week of Conference Play, and Mitch Longo is Still Awesome

Mitch Longo is off to a great start for his true freshman season (.426/.486/.585). Can he keep it up this weekend against Kent State? - Kaleb Carter

Also, if you're in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, you oughta take a trip to Theunissen Stadium for, what should be, an awesome pitching matchup. Pat Kaminska vs. Anthony Magovney? Yes please.

Buffalo @ Central Michigan

Oh, [expletive] yes! This is too good of a series to look forward to. And where better to have a series with two of the most dangerous teams in the MAC than at Theunissen Stadium? With prospects, pitching, long balls to drool over, wait, hold that thought, I'm actually drooling right now brb.

Okay, I'm back. Look, all I'm saying is that Saturday looks like it's going to have one of the more exciting pitching match-ups that you could ask for and damnit I'm drooling again.

Game 1: Fri. 3:05 p.m. Mike McGee vs. Jordan Foley
Game 2: Sat. 2:05 p.m. Pat Kaminska vs. Anthony Magovney
Game 3: Sun. 1:05 p.m. Nick Deeg vs. Mike Burke

Kent State @ Ohio

On paper, this is almost unfair. Kent State's pitching staff is too good for Ohio's lineup, batting a .260 average so far this season. And Ohio's pitching staff has a combined 6.42 earned run average, which is just asking for trouble as Kent State is third in the MAC with a .280 batting average, and is .295 in MAC play. Yeesh.

Game 1: Fri. 6 p.m. Eric Lauer vs. Jake Roehn
Game 2: Sat. 3 p.m. Nick Jensen-Clagg vs. Jake Rudnicki
Game 3: Sun. 1 p.m. Brian Clark vs. Connor Sitz

Akron @ Miami

A fairly good matchup here. Both teams are off to fairly good starts, at least for how poorly they've done last season. Akron has the advantage here, leading the MAC with a .307 AVG in conference play compared to Miami's .235, and Akron's pitching staff is fourth in the MAC with a .285 ERA, while Miami is sixth with a 3.63. If Akron is for real, this would be a great series for MAC baseball followers to buy into them if they come out of here with a pair of wins.

Game 1: Fri. 6 p.m. John Valek III vs. Seth Varner
Game 2: Sat. 3 p.m. JT Brubaker vs. Nathan Williams
Game 3: Sun. 1 p.m. Myles McVeigh vs. Ryan Powers

Eastern Michigan @ Ball State

Sitting at 19-10 overall, Ball State is looking to be the first team in the MAC to get to 20 wins on the year. Eastern Michigan, on the other hand, will look to make some breathing room as they sit at the bottom of the MAC West standings with a 1-5 conference record. All of the offensive numbers led by Sam Ott and Lee Longo are cute, but none of that really matters unless it shows up in the win column.

Game 1: Fri. 3 p.m. Jake Andrews vs. TJ Weir
Game 2: Sat. 1 p.m. Ryan Lavoie vs. Scott Baker
Game 3: Sun. 1 p.m. Steve Weber vs. Zach Plesac

Bowling Green @ Western Michigan

...but it's being played in Toledo. They just can't catch a break over there in Kalamazoo, can they? Keegan Akin will still come in to pitch on Sunday, even after his complete game, 12-strikeout performance last weekend. The toughest out for Akin and the rest of the Bronco pitching staff will be BGSU's Brian Bein, who leads the Falcons in batting average (.384), on-base percentage (.446), hits (33), walks (11) and runs (16).

Game 1: Fri. 2 p.m. Devin Daugherty vs. Steve Laudicina
Game 2: Sat. 12 p.m. Mike Frank vs. Chad Mayle
Game 3: Sun 1 p.m. Andrew Lacinak vs. Keegan Akin

Toledo @ Northern Illinois

The two sit at 2-4 in conference play, tied for fourth in the MAC West just ahead of last place Eastern Michigan. The schedules only get tougher from here for both teams, so the winner of this series will be in good shape for at least the immediate future.

Game 1: Sat. 12 p.m. Ryan Wilkinson vs. Anthony Andres
Game 2: Sat. 4:30 p.m. Sam Shutes vs. Eli Anderson
Game 3: Sun. 1 p.m. Ross Achter vs. Alex Klonowski

MAC Standings

EAST Team W-L GB
1 Akron 5-1 -
2 Kent State 4-2 1
3 Buffalo 3-2 1.5
T-4 Miami 2-4 3
Bowling Green 2-4 3
6 Ohio 1-5 4

WEST Team W-L GB
1 Central Michigan 6-0 -
2 Ball State 4-1 1.5
3 Western Michigan 3-3 3
T-4 Northern Illinois 2-4 4
Toledo 2-4 4
6 Eastern Michigan 1-5 5

MAC Team W-L GB
1 Central Michigan 6-0 -
2 Akron 5-1 1
3 Ball State 4-1 1.5
4 Kent State 4-2 2
5 Buffalo 3-2 2.5
6 Western Michigan 3-3 3
T-7 Miami 2-4 4
Northern Illinois 2-4 4
Toledo 2-4 4
Bowling Green 2-4 4
T-11 Eastern Michigan 1-5 5
Ohio 1-5 5
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