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MAC All-Conference teams and baseball awards announced

Just in time for the conference tourney, no less!

We are getting jazzed for some MACtion on the diamond happening over the next few days in the MAC Baseball Championship starting Thursday. You can check out all the brackety goodness here, but before we can move along to the post-season, we have to wrap up the regular season with some hardware.

Tuesday night, the Mid-American Conference did just that, announcing their individual awards for the 2016 season and the All-MAC trams. First, the awards, then the controversy.

MAC Player of the Year
Alex Call, Ball State, Jr., OF

MAC Pitcher of the Year
Eric Lauer, Kent State, Jr., LHP

MAC Freshman of the Year
Connor Smith, Western Michigan, Fr., SS

MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year
William Anderson, Northern Illinois, Fr., RHP

MAC Defensive Player of the Year
Deion Tansel, Sr., Toledo, SS

MAC Coach of the Year
Jeff Duncan, Kent State

In and of itself, I can't take issue with the above awards. However, folks on Twitter weren't so chill. Most people expected Eric Lauer from Kent State to be named the Player of the Year, and he did have a phenomenal year and an even more phenomenal back half of the season. Lauer currently leads the nation in ERA and is ranked in the top ten in hits per nine innings and strikeouts - he also leads the conference in nearly all starting statistical categories with a 0.76 ERA and 116 strikeouts already this year. He threw the 11th no-hitter in Kent State history this season and fittingly is the 11th Kent State hurler to be named Pitcher of the Year.

Admittedly, I'm a Cardinal homer, but Call's numbers aren't easy to skip past. Call, a junior from River Falls, Wisconsin, enters the MAC Tournament as the league leader in hits (86), runs (67), doubles (24), triples (6), total bases (161) and slugging (.685) while ranking among the top-five players in the MAC in home runs (13), batting average (.366), stolen bases (17) and on-base-percentage (.453). The right fielder's numbers also stand up nationally as he currently ranks first in total bases (161), second in runs, fourth in doubles, and 14th in slugging percentage. Seems Player of the Year-ish to me. He is the eighth Cardinal to win the award and second in the last three years (Sean Godfrey - 2014).

Joining the individual award winners were the All-MAC teams:

All-MAC First Team
C- Jarett Rindfleisch, Jr., Ball State
1B - Caleb Stayton, Jr., Ball State
2B - Brad Wood, So., Northern Illinois
3B - Mitch McGeein, Sr., Eastern Michigan
SS - Deion Tansel, Sr., Toledo
OF - Alex Call, Jr., Ball State
OF - Luke Burch, Jr., Kent State
OF - Vinny Mallaro, Jr., Buffalo
SP - Eric Lauer, Jr., Kent State
SP - Keegan Akin, Jr., Western Michigan
SP - Eli Kraus, So., Kent State
SP - Alec Tuohy, Jr., Buffalo
RP - B.J. Butler, Jr., Ball State
DH - Zarley Zalewski, Sr., Kent State
DH -- Gary Russo, Sr., Miami

All-MAC Second Team
C- Cody Gaertner, Sr., Ohio
1B - Ross Haffey, So., Miami
2B - Steve Sada, Jr., Miami
3B - Dylan Rosa, So., Kent State
SS - Connor Smith, Fr., Western Michigan
OF - Mitch Longo, Jr., Ohio
OF - Daniel Jipping, So., Central Michigan
OF - Stephen Letz, Sr., Northern Illinois
SP - Ross Achter, Sr., Toledo
SP - Cole Gnetz, Fr., Miami
SP - Andy Ravel, Jr., Kent State
SP - William Anderson, Fr., Northern Illinois
RP - Zach Willeman, So., Kent State
DH - Brennan Williams, So., Eastern Michigan
At-Large - Conner Simonetti, Jr., Kent State

MAC All-Defensive Team
C: Cody Gaertner, Sr., Ohio
1B: Tommy Hook, Jr., Northern Illinois
2B: Riley Minorik, Fr., Bowling Green
SS: Deion Tansel, Sr., Toledo
3B: Sean Kennedy, Jr., Ball State
OF: Manny DeJesus, Sr., Ohio
OF: Mason Mamarella, So., Kent State
OF: Alex Call, Jr., Ball State
P: Keegan Akin, Jr., Western Michigan

So now that the regular season is complete, awards and all, it's time for playoff MACtion. More to come Wednesday on the baseball festivities about to happen.