The Eastern Michigan baseball team has it's home opener Friday night against the University of Akron. The Eagles have struggled on the road to start the season as they currently sit at 6-12, but here are the five things you need to know heading into the Mid-American Conference season.
1. McGeein Power
When Lee Longo graduated last season, it seemed like the power threat of the lineup was gone for this season but so far junior third baseman Mitch McGeein has provided stellar hitting for the Eagles. McGeein is currently hitting .338 with six home runs and 12 RBIs, and with those six home runs McGeein is currently tied for first in the NCAA rankings as of March 16.
2. Bullpen Struggles
Last season, the Eagles had severe problems pitching especially with the bullpen. This year they’ve been slightly better but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Freshman Kyle Huckaby is the only guy out of the pen with an earned run average under five. Sophomore Sam Delaplane has been strong with a few bumps in the season, which haven’t helped his earned run average. Delaplane was named MAC West Pitcher of the Week on March 2.
3. New faces, no problems
As noted in the season preview, this is an Eagles team full of new faces. There are 13 new faces to the program this year and they have stepped up and contributed immediately. Junior Jordan Peterson is leading the team in on-base percentage and is second in batting average at .297. Also notable is freshman first baseman Brennan Williams who is hitting .275.
4. Power Numbers
The Eagles currently lead the Mid-American Conference with a team total of 10 home runs. Last year, they only had 11 home runs the entire season. They have had home runs from McGeein (6), sophomore John Montgomery (3) and redshirt sophomore Mike Mioduszewski (1).
5. Lights out Andrews
Senior Jake Andrews has started the season red hot. Andrews has started four games and in those four, he has gone 2-1 with one complete game and a 1.24 earned run average. He has also pitched in a team high 29.0 innings this season. Andrews is currently ranked 68 in the NCAA and first in the MAC in ERA.
Follow Andrew Mascharka on Twitter: @amascharka