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MAC Baseball Preview: Looking Back at 2013

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." -Rogers Hornsby


Yes, it's cold out. Yes, there's that stupid white stuff on the ground that makes people drive like complete morons. Yes, it's January, but baseball is near. College baseball season is just a short 16 days away, which is fitting because that means the first pitch for everybody is scheduled to be on Valentine's Day. See, it's not just some made-up Hallmark holiday.

We're going to be counting down the days until these teams' Opening Day, but let's have a quick refresher of the 2013 season.

Final Standings:

Team (Seed in Tourney) Conf. Record Record
Kent State (1) 20-7 36-23
Buffalo (2) 19-7 33-24
Miami (5) 14-13 26-30
Bowling Green (6) 13-14 24-31
Akron 10-16 15-37
Ohio 9-18 14-39
Northern Illinois (3) 16-11 22-34
Ball State (4) 15-12 31-24
Toledo (7) 13-14 25-33
Eastern Michigan 12-15 26-28
Central Michigan (8) 12-15 25-32
Western Michigan 8-19 16-38

2013 MAC Tournament:

An unlikely Bowling Green team made it to the NCAA tournament. Finishing the regular season with a 24-31 record (13-14 MAC). Led by T.J. Losby, a First Team All-MAC catcher, appeared in 55 games and posted a .832 OPS for the season. The Falcons were only a 6-seed heading into the MAC tournament and started things off right with an 11-inning victory over the MAC West champions Northern Illinois Huskies. Having to put up with a pesky Rockets team to avoid elimination, the Falcons met up with the Ball State Cardinals in the final, but Nick Bruns really took care of business throwing a complete game shutout allowing just four hits and one walk.

MAC Baseball Tournament Video: Bowling Green Tournament MVP Nick Bruns (via MACDigitalNetwork)

The Falcons would go on to be be one of the unlucky two-and-out teams with losses against #15 Louisville and Oklahoma State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Top Performers:

Jason Kanzler- The senior center fielder ended his career for Buffalo with as good of a year as anybody could ask for. The primary #2 hitter in the lineup led the team in nearly all batting categories. Starting in 57 games for the Bulls, Kanzler posted a .330 batting average with a 1.009 OPS. A pure athlete who could hit for power (led the conference with 12 home runs) with good speed (21-for-25 in stolen bases), Kanzler was a darling for MAC baseball.

Scott Baker- Just turned 21 years old in November, Baker's sophomore season was very impressive. Mostly coming out of the bullpen as a freshman in 2012, Baker had 16 starts with five complete games with a shutout. Through 11 and two-thirds innings pitched, Baker had the third-lowest ERA in the MAC with 2.18 with a 1.16 WHIP.

2013 MLB First-Year Draftees:

Tyler Skulina (Kent)- Chicago Cubs, 4th round, 108 overall.

Taylor Williams (Kent)- Milwaukee Brewers, 4th round, 122 overall.

Jeff Zimmerman (NIU)- Seattle Mariners, 19th round, 567 overall.

Dylan Rheault (CMU)- Baltimore Orioles, 19th round, 579 overall.

Jason Kanzler (UB)- Minnesota Twins, 20th round, 590 overall.

Eric Dorsch (Kent)- Cincinnati Reds, 21st round, 645 overall. [Did not sign, with Golden Flashes in 2014]

Derek Toadvine (Kent)- New York Yankees, 22nd round, 674 overall.

George Roberts (Kent)- Arizona Diamondbacks, 26th round, 780 overall.

Brett Barber (Ohio)- Toronto Blue Jays, 37th round, 1105 overall.