Ball State Sports Link premieres season three of its all-access show Ball State Baseball: Believe.
The Mid-American Conference preseason coaches poll picked the Cardinals to finish first in the West Division. Kent State was the overall favorite out of the East Division. Those two teams will open league play at Ball State on March 24.
Five position starters return from the 2016 squad led by C/1B Caleb Stayton. An ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region first team pick last year, Stayton led the MAC in batting average (.377), RBIs (71), walks (42) and on-base percentage (.482).
Three other key senior starters are featured in the lineup. OF Matt Eppers is now in his third year starting in the outfield. 3B Sean Kennedy is in his fourth year starting in the infield. He was named to the MAC All-Defensive Team last spring. Finally, SS Alex Maloney is also in his fourth year as a starter. He was among the team leaders in runs scored (48), batting average (.305), doubles (14) and RBIs (32) in 2016.
On the mound, RHP BJ Butler is one of the top pitchers in the MAC. He served as the team’s closer through much of 2016, but made two key starts at the end of last year. LHP Kevin Marnon was a two-time MAC Pitcher of the Week in 2016. RHP Colin Brockhouse returns after being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2016 MLB Draft.
Follow the baseball team throughout the season with locker room interviews, game highlights and in-depth stories. Kaitlyn Young, Mick Tidrow and Caleb Stayton are the series executive producers for a second consecutive year, while all students in Ball State Sports Link will contribute to the series.