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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 95: Ball State Baseball makes a statement, and James stops by to talk NFL Draft!

The Ball State baseball team was the highlight of the weekend, with a dominant four game sweep of Central Michigan. Also this week, James stops by to discuss the MAC prospects selected in the NFL Draft!

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Happy Friday folks! We’re glad you made it through another week. and we’re excited to help you ring in the weekend.

To open up the show this week, Zach and Zack briefly discuss some transfer portal news in football and basketball. On the hardwood, second year Eastern Michigan coach Stan Heath landed two commitments, with Duquense transfer Tyson Acuff and Georgetown transfer Jalin Billingsley both announcing they would continue their careers in Ypsilanti. Acuff is a Detroit native, and Billingsley a former three star recruit. These additions give the Eagles immediate depth, and both could certainly develop into very good MAC players. Elsewhere in hoops, Emoni Bates, a Ypsilanti native and the top rated recruit in the class of 2022, announced his intention to transfer from Memphis. Eastern Michigan is listed as one of his six target schools, and it would be a huge windfall for the conference if Bates ended up selecting his hometown school. This is certainly a story we’ll be monitoring.

In football news, Toledo WR Matt Landers announced he would enter his name in the portal and seek a new home. Landers spent only one season with the Rockets, transferring to Toledo from Georgia after the 2020 season. Though Landers had a slow start to the year and only had 20 catches on the season, he did catch five touchdowns and boasted an absurd 25.7 yards per catch average.

In MAC baseball, all eyes were on Muncie this weekend, as first place Central Michigan traveled to second place Ball State. The Chippewas entered the series with a 17 game win streak and a 21-1 record in the MAC, but the Cardinals proved to be the better team. Led by Amir Wright and a strong pitching staff, Rich Maloney’s squad swept all four games of the series, moving into first place and giving them a 1.5 game advantage over CMU in the standings. The regular season champion gets to host the conference tournament, so this was a huge victory for the Cardinals. With three weeks left in the regular season, these two teams will be neck in neck for the regular season title.

To close out the show, James stops by to break down last weekends’ NFL Draft. The MAC had six players selected, the most since 2017, and we discuss each player and their landing spot. James shares why he thinks Skyy Moore can have an immediate impact in Kansas City, and why former CMU offensive lineman Luke Goedeke and Bernhard Raimann can both compete for starting positions. There is a solid crop of undrafted free agents from the conference as well, with high profile names like Kaleb Eleby, Kalil Pimpleton, and Dustin Crum all earning rookie contracts. The boys discuss which of the undrafted prospects have the best chance to earn a roster spot.

Thanks as always for stopping by this week folks. As we say every week, don’t forget to subscribe to the pod on your favorite podcast platform to ensure that you don’t miss anything! We hope you all have a great week ahead, and we’ll see you back here next Friday.