CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Miami RedHawks have been picked to finish second in the East Division in a vote of the Mid-American Conference baseball coaches, the league announded today. College World Series participant Kent State was unanimously picked to repeat as the divsion winner, while Central Michigan was tabbed as the West Division favorites.
The Flashes also garnered nine votes to win the MAC Tournament, while Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toledo each received one vote.
The RedHawks finished 30-29 last year, but battled from the No. 7-seed to the conference semifinals. After winning its first two games in Avon, Miami lost twice to Central Michigan, including an epic 11-10 game that ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
This year's roster included 15 letterwinners, including preseason All-America choice Matt Honchel. The Harrodsburg, Ky., native earned Freshman All-America, MAC Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference honors after batting .395 in his initial collegiate campaign.
Five other position starters and three regular starting pitchers also return in 2013.
After Miami, league coaches project Bowling Green third, Ohio fourth and Akron fifth. Buffalo rounded out this year's East Division predictions.
Toledo was picked to finish second in the West Division and was followed by Eastern Michigan in third place. Western Michigan, Ball State and Northern Illinois rounded out the remaining sports in the West.
The MAC baseball season begins on Friday, February 15th, while conference play starts up Friday, March 22. The season will culminate with the MAC Baseball Tournament, which takes place May 22-25 at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
MAC East Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Kent State (72 points)
2. Miami (58)
3. Bowling Green (44)
4. Ohio (34)
5. Akron (25)
6. Buffalo (19)
West Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Central Michigan (65 points)
2. Toledo (60)
3. Eastern Michigan (54)
4. Western Michigan (36)
5. Ball State (23)
6. Northern Illinois (15)