MAC Baseball Tournament Central
AVON, Ohio – Buffalo senior outfielder Jason Kanzler, the 2013 MAC Player of Year, highlights the 30-player all-conference squad that was announced today by the league office in conjunction with the MAC Tournament (May 22-25). The Bulls picked up even more hardware as Ron Torgalski was named Coach of the Year. In addition, Ball State’s Scott Baker was named Pitcher of the Year, while Miami outfielder Jake Romano was named the MAC’s Freshman of the Year. The league's 12 head coaches conducted the voting for the first and second All-MAC teams.
Kanzler had a career year, batting .322 with 10 home runs, 46 runs batted in, and 20 steals. He led the conference in slugging percentage, RBI, home runs, and total bases, and played exemplary defense in center field to build off a 2012 season where he was named to the Rawlings Gold Glove team.
In the UB record books, his 2013 numbers rank almost literally in every major statistical category, and he continues to charge up the ranks in many other career lists. This season, he also started a brand new list of his own, becoming the first player in the program's all-time history to reach 10 home runs and 20 steals. He was a two-time winner of the MAC East Player of the Week this season.
Kanzler was happy to share the adulation on Tuesday with his coach and mentor, who was honored as coach of the year for the first time. After the Bulls were picked in the preseason to finish dead last in the MAC East, and second-to-last overall, Coach Torgalski and the Bulls not only surpassed those expectations, but set dozens of new program "firsts" along the way. The team did not lose a single conference weekend series all year, finishing with 19 wins that shattered the previous best of 11 set back in 2007. The team also sits at 32 wins for the season, nine more than the 2010 record of 23 for the post-reinstatement era and is currently tied for the most ever with the 1980 team.
BSU’s Baker is the third Ball State pitcher to ever receive MAC Pitcher of the Year honors (Bryan Bullington 2001 & ’02; Erik Morrison, 2005). Baker tallied his 11th win of the season and improved to 11-1 with a five-hit, complete game win over Northern Illinois May 16. Baker has struck out 80 batters in 99.1 innings and allowed only 18 earned runs. Opponents are hitting only .218 against Baker, and he owns a 6-1 conference record with a 1.58 ERA in league games. Baker ranks fifth in the nation in pitching victories. He is 15th in the nation in complete games (5), 21st in ERA (1.63), 47th in strikeouts per inning (9.35) and 86th in strikeouts (80). Baker and Chris Marangon are tied for 14th nationally in games started with 14 apiece. Erik Morrison received the honor after the 2005 season, while Bryan Bullington won the award after the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
Romano is the second straight RedHawk to win the award, joining 2012 winner Matt Honchel in the starting outfield. Romano leads Miami with a .374 batting average, registering 43 hits in 115 at-bats. He has four extra-base hits -- two doubles and two triples -- and holds a .443 on-base percentage. A native of Algonquin, Ill., he has played in 31 of Miami's 53 games, but missed 14 games with a knee contusion suffered during the spring trip to Florida in March. In league play, Romano hit .323 with one double and one triple. He was successful on five of eight stolen base attempts and did not make an error in 43 chances. Romano was feature on ESPN SportsCenter during the year, making a diving catch against Dayton that ranked fourth on the Top Ten Plays of the Day.
MAC Baseball Tournament play begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. as No. 4 Ball State takes on No. 5 Miami. Follow all of the #MACtion right HERE
on MAC Tournament Central.
MAC Coach of the Year: Ron Torgalski, Buffalo
MAC Pitcher of the Year: Scott Baker, RHP, Ball State
MAC Player of the Year: Jason Kanzler, OF, Buffalo
MAC Freshman of the Year: Jake Romano, OF, Miami
2013 MAC Baseball First Team
C: T.J. Losby, Bowling Green
1B: George Roberts, Kent State
2B: Alex Konowski, Northern Illinois
SS: Andrew Sohn, Western Michigan
3B: Billy Wellman, Ball State
OF: Jason Kanzler, Buffalo
OF: Matt Honchel, Miami
OF: Ben Hammer, Toledo
SP: Scott Baker, Ball State
SP: Taylor Williams, Kent State
SP: Eli Anderson, Northern Illinois
SP: Ryan Wilkinson, Toledo
RP: Brian Clark, Kent State
DH: Lee Longo, Eastern Michigan
At-Large: Mike Burke, Buffalo
2013 MAC Baseball Second Team
C: Adam Sonabend, Eastern Michigan
1B: Jeremy Shay, Bowling Green
2B: Derek Toadvine, Kent State
SS: Sawyer Polen, Kent State
3B: Mike Scarcello, Buffalo
OF: Jared Turocy, Akron
OF: Sean Godfrey, Ball State
OF: Evan Campbell, Kent State
SP: Jordan Foley, Central Michigan
SP: Anthony Magovney, Buffalo
SP: Tyler Skulina, Kent State
SP: Brooks Fiala, Miami
RP: River McWilliams, Buffalo
DH: Tyler Mutner, Buffalo
At-Large: Jeff Zimmerman, Northern Illinois