CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference listed the Miami baseball team fourth in the MAC East Division, according to the preseason coaches’ poll the league released on Wednesday.
The RedHawks received one first-place vote and 36 voting points in the preseason poll while defending regular season MAC champion Kent State garnered preseason favorite distinction with 11 first-place votes and 71 points. MAC Tournament winner Bowling Green (52 points) and Buffalo (50 points) were listed second and third, respectively, followed by Miami, Akron (24 points) and Ohio (19 points).
In the West Division, Ball State was narrowly listed as the favorite with four first-place votes and 57 points, one point ahead of Central Michigan (three first-place votes; 56 points). Toledo (four first-place votes, 54 points), Northern Illinois (one first-place vote, 43 points), Eastern Michigan (27 points) and Western Michigan (15 points) rounded out the West Division voting.
Seven of the 12 MAC schools received a vote to win the MAC Tournament, including Miami. Four of the league’s coaches predicted Kent State to claim the MAC Tournament and three more picked Ball State. MU, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toledo garnered one vote apiece. The MAC Tournament is held in Avon Lake, Ohio from May 21-25.
The RedHawks finished the 2013 season 26-30 overall and placed third in the MAC East with a 14-13 conference mark. Junior outfielder Matt Honchel returns after earning First-Team All-MAC honors in each of his first two seasons while sophomore outfielder Jake Romano was named MAC Freshman of the Year last spring.
Miami opens the 2014 season on Friday when it heads to Jonesboro, Ark., for a three-game set at Arkansas State. That game will be the Red and White's first under new head coach Danny Hayden.
2014 MAC Baseball Preseason Poll
East Division Predictions
1. Kent State -- 71 points (11 First Place)
2. Bowling Green -- 52 points
3. Buffalo -- 50 points
4. Miami -- 36 points (1)
5. Akron -- 24 points
6. Ohio -- 19 points
West Division Predictions
1. Ball State -- 57 points (4 First Place)
2. Central Michigan -- 56 points (3)
3. Toledo -- 54 points (4)
4. Northern Illinois -- 43 points (1)
5. Eastern Michigan -- 27 points
6. Western Michigan -- 15 points
Tournament Champions: Kent State (4), Ball State (3), Bowling Green (1), Central Michigan (1), Eastern Michigan (1), Miami (1), Toledo (1)