There were a few teams that finished the regular season strong with sweeps. Central Michigan (43-12, 22-5 MAC) earned its 15th straight victory with a sweep of Miami (36-17, 15-11 MAC) to clinch the top overall seed in the Tournament and a bye, while the RedHawks fell to the #4 seed. Meanwhile, Ball State (36-16, 20-5 MAC) earned a bye of its own with a sweep of Toledo (17-36, 4-21 MAC) to take the #2 seed. Kent State (30-22, 17-8 MAC) had the other sweep in the league as it swept Eastern Michigan (11-43-1, 6-21 MAC) to claim to #3 seed after a slow start to its season.
To end the season, Northern Illinois (18-34, 14-12 MAC) split a pair of games with Bowling Green (16-33, 8-18 MAC) to end up with the #5 seed in the Tournament. The sixth spot had to be decided in a series between Ohio (18-32, 12-14 MAC) and Western Michigan (18-31, 11-14 MAC), and the Bobcats took the series 2-1 after splitting the first two games of the series.
The MAC Tournament kicks off on Wednesday as Kent State takes on Ohio in the first game at 12:30 p.m. In the regular season series, the Flashes won two games in Athens. KSU has been effective on offense in conference play with a .320 batting average, a .528 slugging percentage, and 45 stolen bases, while opponents have been held a .248 batting average. Meanwhile, Ohio has been inconsistent in the regular season, posting wins over Kent State and Miami while also falling in sweeps against Ball State and Northern Illinois. If we get the OU team that earned a 1-0 victory over KSU earlier in the season, we should get a fantastic opening game of the Tournament.
The 6 p.m. game Wednesday will feature Miami and NIU as the Huskies took a 2-1 series over the RedHawks earlier this season. After starting off the MAC season hot, Miami has cooled down considerably as it has lost five of its last eight games despite featuring strong offense (.296/.420/.402) and defense (3.79 ERA) in MAC play. Meanwhile, the Huskies have lost five of their last nine games. With the stakes of the Tournament being what they are, both squads will have an opportunity to prove they belong in order to compete for a MAC Championship and both teams need to be more consistent if they want to be in the Tournament for very long.