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2017 MAC Baseball Preview: Buffalo, Central Michigan and Ohio Open Up Conference Play

Buffalo, Central Michigan and Ohio get their first taste of MAC play this weekend.

Miami Baseball Celebrates (Miami Athletics) Miami Athletics

Buffalo Bulls @ Kent State Golden Flashes

Friday: 12:00 PM

Saturday: 4:00 PM

Sunday: 1:00 PM

Buffalo Bulls 7-14 Overall, 0-0 MAC

Buffalo will play their first conference series this weekend as they travel to Kent, Ohio to face the Golden Flashes. Buffalo is just 7-14 overall but has been on a road trip for the entire season so far.

They started play on February 17th in Martin, Tennessee and have been on the road since playing in Kentucky, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and finally Allegheny, NY on Tuesday, where the Bulls picked up their second win in a row over St. Bonaventure, 5-4. Buffalo got a gem of a start from Junior Brent Cleland, who held the Bonnies to just 5 hits and 0 runs in seven innings of work while striking out seven. Buffalo will finally return home after this weekend’s trip to Kent State.

Kent State Golden Flashes 15-7 Overall, 3-0 MAC

Kent State will play their second conference series of the season after they swept Ball State in three straight road games last weekend. It will be the just the Flashes second home game of the year after their home opener, a two game set with Western Illinois was cancelled. They beat Pittsburgh at home 7-6 on March 21st in their only home game to date. The Flashes dropped a game on Tuesday in West Lafayette, IN when Purdue edged them out 3-2.

Miami Redhawks @ Central Michigan

Friday: 3:00 PM

Saturday: 2:00 PM

Sunday: 1:00 PM

Miami RedHawks 7-16 Overall, 1-2 MAC

Miami opened up MAC play last weekend when they hosted Western Michigan for a three-game set. They won on Friday but lost both Saturday and Sunday to drop the series, 1-2. They did pick up wins on Tuesday over Northern Kentucky down in Kentucky and Wednesday over Xavier at home.

Grant Hartwig and Gus Graham combined to throw 7 shutout innings on their way to 7-0 victory over the Musketeers. The RedHawks travel to Mount Pleasant, MI for their first conference road series this weekend against Central Michigan.

Central Michigan Chippewas 10-14 Overall, 0-0 MAC

The Chippewas took two of three games from Missouri State last weekend at home thanks in part a strong outing on Sunday from sophomore starter Pat Leatherman. Leatherman went five strong innings allowing just one run on three hits while striking out 6 to take the rubber match game of the series.

The Chippewas dropped a game in Ann Arbor on Wednesday against Michigan and will open up MAC play this weekend at home against Miami. The Chippewas will start sophomore right-hander Dazon Cole (1-4, 3.78 ERA) on Friday; freshman left-hander Tyler Hankins (1-0, 3.34) on Saturday; and Leatherman on Sunday.

Ohio Bobcats @ Ball State Cardinals

Friday: 3:00 PM

Saturday: 1:00 PM

Sunday: 1:00 PM

Ohio Bobcats 11-12 Overall, 0-0 MAC

The Bobcats travel to Muncie, IN to take on Ball State in their first conference series of the season. They have dropped five games in a row going into this weekend’s play, including a 3-0 loss at Ohio State on Tuesday.

Ohio held the Buckeyes to just six hits in the game and got a 3-of-4 effort from senior right fielder Spencer Ibarra but where unable to push any runs across. They will look to get back on track as they get into conference play.

Ball State Cardinals 11-14 Overall, 0-3 MAC

Ball State was picked as the favorite to win the MAC West this season but had to take on the favorite to win the MAC East in their conference opener last weekend and the Flashes got the best of the Cards, sweeping the 3 game set. They then hosted Butler on Tuesday and lost 7-3 as the Bulldogs used a five-run third inning to propel them to the win. The Cards have now lost five in a row as they get their first home conference series of the season this weekend.