Don’t look now, but it’s officially the football offseason around these parts as the NFL Draft comes to a close and the undrafted free agents slow down. It was quite the weekend, but with every bit of pleasure comes some regret after. And now here we sit after gorging ourselves on 40 times and highlight reels staring a long cold offseason.
But rejoice, Belters, because there is still MACtion to be had. The baseball and softball season are hitting their stride and post-season opportunities are coming into focus. And of course, your friendly neighborhood home of MACtion snark and folly will be covering it all.
We’ll catch you up on what’s happened so far in the MAC baseball, what players you need to know, what teams are poised to make noise in the postseason and how the conference race is shaking out. To that end, the mothership in Cleveland (the MAC office for those new around here) announced their weekly awards of the baseball persuasion. To the release!:
MAC Baseball Co-Players of the Week
Jeff Riedel, Ball State, OF
Riedel the team in batting average (.500), runs (5), hits (9), total bases (15), slugging (.833) and on-base percentage (.550) for the week. He became the 10th Cardinal to notch two triples in a game in Ball State’s 11-0 win over Northern Illinois on April 29. Riedel also had an RBI triple in Ball State’s loss to Indiana State on April 25. He also recorded a pair of outfield assists in Ball State’s 5-4 win over NIU on April 29. His second assist came in the top of the ninth inning when he threw out the go-ahead run at home plate.
Andrew Stone, Western Michigan, Infielder
Batting in the second spot, Andrew Stone hit a staggering .667 to help the Broncos secure their fourth straight MAC series over Eastern Michigan. In Friday’s contest, Stone went a perfect 5-for-5, marking a new career-high in hits. The perfect 5-for-5 performance was the second for the Broncos this season and one shy of tying the school record for most hits in a game. In Sunday’s series clinching victory, Stone went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored. The two-RBI performance matched his career-high while he also recorded a double in the Sunday game. Overall on the weekend, Stone led the team with a .667 batting average and was third on the team with three RBIs. The Portage, Mich., native also led the team with a .667 on-base percentage. Despite not having any sacrifice hits this weekend, Stone ranks 34th in the NCAA in sac bunts and 22nd in SAC bunts per game. This season, Stone has registered six multi-hit games and two multi-RBI games. He is currently riding a team-high four-game hitting streak.
MAC Baseball Pitcher of the Week
Gus Graham, Miami, RHP
Graham was lights out in leading Miami to a series-clinching win over rival Ohio on Sunday. He went all nine innings for the RedHawks, his second-straight complete game. The Gallipolis, Ohio native allowed just two runs on three hits while striking out a career-high 11 and walking none. After allowing a solo homer in the first inning, Graham went on to retire the next 20 batters and put forth seven innings in which he set the side down in order. In total, the Bobcats went 3-for-30 (.100) against him as he cruised to another win, improving his record 4-0 on the year.
Congrats to the award winners and get yourself ready as America’s pastime invades the Belt for the foreseeable future. Batter up, indeed.