MAC Baseball is about 33 games into the roughly 50 game season and there are some great individual seasons taking shape. Four weekend series are in the books with 5 more left plus some midweek games.
Some players are on track to get their names in at least their schools record books if not having a record season for the MAC. There should be at least a couple fun story lines to pay attention to as the season heads down the stretch. Maybe some of these players end up drafted in June.
I looked up the MAC and individual school records in their media guides for the stats that are tracked across the MAC. Some schools keep track of rate stats and some are almost strictly counting stats. Ohio hasn’t posted a media guide since 2012 and Ball State only records the top 5 players while all others show top 10. Get with it Ohio.
MAC Records within Reach
Some records are going to last almost forever. In 225 at bats, John Van Benschoten hit 31 home runs for Kent State in 2001. That is crazy. Almost a third of his hits went over the fence.
The bats have been reigned in since then and they just aren’t allowed to have the same pop they used to. Van Benschoten was drafted 8th overall by the Pirates and turned into a pitcher. He hit a home run every 7th at bat in his last college season and they made him a pitcher. He was a good pitcher his last season but not quite as dominant as he was as a hitter.
This season, a handful of players are getting within striking distance of cracking the top ten for single season records.
Jacob Crum, Central Michigan
Jacob Crum has 7 triples to date with the conference record at 11. Eight would get him on the top ten list for the conference. He’s already at 4th at Central Michigan all time single season. This record could fall this season but triples are a little bit random. He clearly has the necessary speed but the difference between a double and a triple off the bat is somewhat arbitrary to establish.
Griffin Lockwood-Powell, Central Michigan
Griffin is a freshman and has 48 runs batted in through 35 games. With 20 games left on the schedule, he could get on the conference top ten list with a minimum of 71. On a per game rate he would finish at 75. That’s good for 4th all time in the MAC, and a mere 72 would earn him a tie for first at CMU.
Blake Dunn, Western Michigan
Blake Dunn has 22 stolen bases in 32 games and might need to be even more aggressive to get to 39, 10th on the MAC all time list. He’s already tied for 10th in WMU history, but the lead of 31 is well within reach by the end of the season.
Blake also has been hitting extremely well posting a batting average of 0.412. An average of 0.440 would get him on the MAC all time list. That’s not too far away but improvement is really difficult from 0.412 to 0.440 or higher. A good weekend, like 4 for 12, could cement Dunn off the MAC list.
Drey Jameson, Ball State
Drey Jameson is striking everyone out so far this season. In 52 and two thirds innings he has struck out 80 batters. That’s a hot 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings. The conference record is 139. That might be asking a lot.
With six starts left in the season, including one in the conference tournament, he needs to keep his strikeout pace and go more than 6 innings a start to match the record. Jameson can certainly make the top ten list and is definitely a name to watch down the stretch.
Nick Urbantke, Miami
The reliever gave a couple earned runs over the weekend and his ERA is only 1.17 to this point. The MAC record is 0.47 set in 1957 by Jack Rumohr. I’m willing to bet the run environment is very different today than it was then.
Still, if Urbantke can get in and out of his appearances the rest of the way he can lower get himself in the record books. If he can stay mostly clean the rest of the way he could find his way to the record books for one of the best seasons in MAC history.
There are a lot of these and the best candidates to break the school records are listed above. A surge by anyone can get them on this list and anyone could fade away. It should be exciting to see who can have an all time season for their school.
Ball State only lists the top 5 seasons for each category they record so it’s a little harder to break onto the list. If Ross Messina keeps squaring up the ball he could get into the doubles list. The ERA list may be a stretch but Nick Floyd’s 2.35 is within reach for the Ball State record book.
Most of their record chases are in the pitching staff. Tyler Hays has a ways to go to get on the list for strikeouts in a season, but a couple strong starts in a row and he’s there. It helps that the tenth best season is only 78 strikeouts. That’s the third lowest bar in the MAC.
The Chippewas are in the middle of a very strong offensive season. Zavier Warren is capable of putting this season in the record books in three spots. Runs, doubles, and walks are all out there for him to grab. Who knows if Cameron Miller will get the save opportunities down the stretch but the ERA record should be in his control, at least to a point.
I’m noticing triples are a common theme for the single season records. They’re just too random to definitively say that Owings is going to get there. The Eagles Friday starter, Scott Granzotto, is going to have every opportunity to get on the leader board for strikeouts.
Ben Carew is a long shot to set records but a spot in the top ten could be his for hits and stolen bases. Zach Schultz has some work to do but some excellent outings could get him in the record book.
Miami Baseball is having a great season. If Cristian Tejada and Will Vogelsang keep setting the table driving the offense, Bailey Martin, Sam Bachman, or Spencer Mraz could get to 9 wins this season, or each of them. That would be a team seemingly built for tournaments.
Jake Dunham can definitely reach 40 walks at his current pace. Will the pace hold though? Dunham can’t really make the pitchers not throw strikes. Michael Lasiewicz has went from day two to day one starter which will affect his ability to get wins but it’s hard to quantify how much.
The chart is bleaker than it appears. Ohio’s season isn’t going how they hoped this season, that’s definitely true. They also haven’t published their record book in a couple of years so it’s hard to tell what is actually going on in Athens.
Michael Jacob has a shot to make the record book for innings pitched. That’s becoming increasingly rare. Between coaches being mindful of their players potential futures and the culture of bullpens eating more innings in baseball, starting pitchers are getting fewer and fewer innings. Jacob could also set the Toledo single season strikeout record.
Blake Dunn could also get his name in the WMU record book for total bases on top of what he already is doing this season. Have a season Blake Dunn. Notice that there isn’t a pitcher listed. I previously addressed the amount of pitching that was leaving the roster over the off season, and this year has proved to be a building block season for the Broncos.