Pair of Baseball ‘Birds Named to All-Preseason MVC Team, ISU Ranked Third
Written by Mikey Fornelli on February 1, 2022
Image courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL, Ill.- Ahead of the first pitch of the 2022 season, the Illinois State baseball team already has high expectations.
Tuesday the Missouri Valley Conference announced both their preseason team and coaches poll, highlighting both fifth-year junior Jake McCaw and third-year sophomore Ryan Cermak. The ‘Birds also were voted to finish third in the conference, tied with Southern Illinois and behind only Indiana State and nationally-ranked Dallas Baptist.
McCaw, a Bloomington native, batted .367 last season with 27 RBIs en route to the First-Team All-MVC and the Dr. Charlotte West Award for academic achievement.
Cermak had a star-studded freshman season in 2021, being named MVC Defensive Player of the Year and still collecting 40 RBIs. He was also named a Freshman All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
It’ll be a tall task for the Redbirds when they open their season against #2 Arkansas from February 18-20. They’ll have their home opener at Duffy Bass Field on March 17, hosting Purdue. They’ll host Illinois and Iowa in the coming weeks, and will visit Indiana State to open their conference season the first week of April. They’ll battle it out until the regular season ends in mid-May, aiming to live up and surpass high expectations on the way to the postseason.