MAC Weekend Preview (March 21st-23rd)

macWestern Michigan (9-8)-Miami (Ohio) (8-9)

Friday, 6 p.m. – (Steve Laudicina vs. Seth Varner)

Saturday, 3 p.m. – (Chad Mayle vs. Nathan Williams)

Sunday, 1 p.m. – (Keegan Akin vs. Ryan Powers)

The Matchup

Western Michigan has been sizzling hot lately winning seven of their last eight games, including a series win over Butler last weekend. On the season the team is hitting .275, while averaging 4.8 points per game. The pitching staff is coming along nicely with an ERA of 3.79 in 145 innings with 116 strikeouts.

Miami (Ohio) has also been hot lately as they’re currently riding a four-game winning streak. The offense has been solid all year with a .299 average, while putting up 6.5 runs per game. It’s the pitching that is holding them back as the staff has a combined ERA of 6.43.

Player to Watch

Despite missing two games this season, Kurt Hoekstra leads the team in average (.421) and hits (24). Brett Sunde has been the big bat with 1 home run and a team-high 15 RBIs, while hitting .313. Andrew Sohn has been solid for WMU on offense as well scoring 13 runs and driving in 12, while stealing a team-high five bases. Steve Laudicina has been the team’s best starter with an ERA of 2.43 in 33.1 innings with 27 strikeouts. Keegan Akin has been good as well in four starts with an ERA of 2.84.

Gary Russo is the one to watch here with a .386 average and a team-high 22 hits, 7 doubles, 4 home runs and 15 RBIs. In only 13 games, Max Andresen leads the team in average at .400 in 45 at-bats with 14 RBIs. Seth Varner has been the team’s best pitcher with 3 wins and an ERA of 3.69 in five starts, while striking out 33 batters in 31.2 innings.

Quotes

- Western Michigan Head Coach Billy Gernon on facing Miami (Ohio):

“The most important thing we need to do this weekend is to continue doing what we have been doing all year. Our team has a lot of confidence right now and we are playing well in all facets of the game. If we continue to stay in our process, play solid defense, throw strikes and execute offensively, we will continue to be a very difficult team to beat. I said this early on and I will say it again, I really like our team and their commitment to improving on a daily basis. It appears our players are understanding their roles and buying into the fact that nothing matters more than Western Michigan finding a way to win. Miami will be a formidable opponent, as will all other MAC teams, and we plan on taking a high level of expectancy and energy with us into every pitch, out, inning and game we play.”

- Miami (Ohio) Head Coach Danny Hayden on facing Western Michigan:

“We are excited to get the MAC season underway. Western Michigan will be a tough opponent for us and I am eager to see how our team handles our first conference weekend together.”

 

Bowling Green (6-12)-Ball State (13-8)

Friday at 3 p.m. – (Cody Apthorpe vs. Clay Manering)

Saturday at 1 p.m. – (Brett Fitzwater vs. T.J. Weir)

Sunday at 1 p.m. – (Mike Frank vs. Scott Baker)

 

Buffalo (8-6)-Northern Illinois (2-15-1)

Friday, 3 p.m. – (Mike Mcgee vs. Anthony Andres)

Saturday, 1 p.m. – (Anthony Magovney vs. Eli Anderson)

Sunday, 1 p.m. – (Mike Burke vs. Alex Kionowski)

 

Eastern Michigan (8-8)-Akron (7-10)

Friday, 1 p.m. – (Jake Andrews vs. John Valek)

Friday, 4 p.m. – (Ryan Lavoie vs. J.T. Brubaker)

Saturday, 1 p.m. – (TBA vs. Michael Steensen)

 

Central Michigan (10-10)-Ohio (4-13)

Friday, 6 p.m. – (Jordan Foley vs. Jake Roehn)

Saturday, 3 p.m. – (Pat Kaminska vs. Jake Rudnicki)

Sunday, 1 p.m. – (Nick Deeg vs. Connor Sitz)

 

Toledo (7-10)-Kent State (9-8)

Friday, 3 p.m. – (Ryan Wilkinson vs. Eric Lauer)

Saturday, 1 p.m. – (Sam Shutes vs. Nick Jensen-Clagg)

Sunday, 1 p.m. – (Ross Achter vs. Brian Clark)