The more things chance, the more they stay the same. The 2014 Mid-American Conference Baseball Preseason Poll was announced Wednesday morning and once again Kent State, the 2013 MAC regular season champion has been picked to win the MAC East regular season title with 11 first place votes. Out West the 2013 MAC Tournament runner-up, Ball State, has been picked to win the MAC West, narrowly beating out CMU and Toledo in the poll.
|2014 MAC Baseball Preseason Poll|
|1||Kent State||71 (11)|
|1||Ball State||57 (4)|
|2||Central Michigan||56 (3)|
|4||Northern Illinois||43 (1)|
In the East the poll shaped up about as expected. The Golden Flashes have dominated the MAC Baseball landscape over the past 13 seasons, but they failed to win the MAC Tournament last year for the first time since 2008. The Flashes bring in a bunch of fresh faces this season but still have All-MAC pitcher Brian Clark holding down an proven roster of players. Bowling Green, the 2013 champion, was picked to finish second behind Kent State, but by a wide margin. Buffalo was picked to follow suit.
On the Western side of things, in a division that looks much more balanced, the poll reflects it. Ball State and Toledo each received four first place votes, Central Michigan received three. Just three points separate the Cardinals from the Rockets in the preseason poll. The 2013 MAC West regular season champion Northern Illinois, was selected to finish fourth in the West.
As expected Kent State with four votes and Ball State with three votes are the favorites to meet up in the 2014 MAC tournament. The Cardinals knocked the Flashes out of the 2013 tourney in the Semifinals. BSU returns 2013 MAC Pitcher of the Year, ace Scott Baker, as well as a pair of All-MAC hitters. 2013 Tournament champion Bowling Green is one of five schools to receive a single vote.
|2014 MAC Tournament Champions|
The 2014 MAC Baseball season opens up Friday.