Chippewa Baseball Picked to Win MAC West

MOUNT PLEASANT - Defending Mid-American Conference West Division and regular season champion Central Michigan University has been chosen by the league's head coaches to repeat as the 2005 MAC West Division champions.

Miami, last year's East Division champion, has been chosen to win the East Division and the RedHawks, who have reached the conference title game in five of the past seven seasons, have also been tabbed to win the MAC Tournament. It's also the fifth time in the last seven seasons that Miami has been picked to win the East Division.

Ccoach Steve Jaksa's Chippewas are only the third team -- Ball State and Bowling Green are the others -- to be picked to win the West Division.

Central Michigan, which won its second West Division crown last season and the school's first MAC regular season title since 1993, is led by senior third baseman Jim Geldhof. The first-team All-MAC choice was second in the league and fifth nationally in hitting with a .427 batting average. He also tied for the top spot in the MAC in runs scored (74), was second in hits (97) and was fourth in RBI (68). The Chippewas also return Kurtis Wells and Bryan Mitzel, who drove in 70 and 66 runs, respectively, last season.

Ball State was selected to finish second and Northern Illinois third in the West.

The 58th season of MAC baseball begins Friday, February 11, while the conference season will get underway on Friday, March 25. The season will culminate with the conference tournament, which takes place at the No. 1 seed May 25-28.

2005 MAC Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll

East Division

1. Miami

2. Kent State

3. Ohio

West Division

1. Central Michigan

2. Ball State

3. Northern Illinois

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