Kent State Picked to Defend Conference Crown
CLEVELAND -- The bar has been set high for the Kent State baseball team with the 2011 season just around the corner.
The two-time defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champions were picked by five of the conference's head coaches to win the tournament crown for a third straight season in the 2011 MAC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll. The Golden Flashes were also picked to win the MAC East Division title.
MAC play begins March 25, and the season will culminate with the MAC Baseball Tournament, which takes place May 25-28 at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Kent State closed out the 2010 regular season with its fourth MAC East Division crown in five years, and won five elimination games in three days to capture the MAC tournament title and earn a trip to the NCAA Los Angeles Regional -- its second consecutive NCAA berth. The Flashes welcome back seven starting position players and three starting pitchers from last year's squad.
The Golden Flashes enter the 2011 campaign ranked 40th in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I Preseason poll. Kent State is the only MAC program to receive a spot in the poll.
Kent State begins the 2011 campaign with a three-game set at Georgia Tech Feb. 18-20 in Atlanta.
2011 MAC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll
MAC East Division
1. Kent State - 72 Points
2. Miami - 53 Points
3. Bowling Green - 50 points
4. Ohio - 35 points
5. Akron - 24 points
6. Buffalo - 16 points
MAC West Division
1. Central Michigan - 69 points
2. Toledo - 60 points
3. Eastern Michigan - 46 points
4. Ball State - 37 points
5. Northern Illinois - 26 points
6. Western Michigan - 12 points
MAC Tournament Champions
Kent State (5), Central Michigan (3), Toledo (2), Miami (1), Eastern Michigan (1)