JACKSON – Changes are coming to the scheduling and playoff formats in MACJC baseball.
On Thursday, the league announced their new changes, which will go into effect in time for the 2015 baseball season. Each team in the state will have the opportunity to face each other once during the regular season, amounting to a total of 28 league games to be played in 14 doubleheaders. League opponents will face off every Wednesday and Saturday.
The north and south divisions will remain in place, with the top two teams from each division earning an automatic berth in the MACJC State Playoffs. The remaining four playoff spots will go to the next four teams with the best league records, regardless of divisions. The first round will still be a Best-of-3 series, followed by a four-team state tournament to determine the conference champion.
“It’s going to be a little different, but I am excited about it,” Northwest head baseball coach Mark Carson said. “The biggest thing that pushed these changes was the addition of Meridian back into the league. They were put into the south division, which made everything uneven in terms of how many conference games would be played. The suggestion came up that we just play everyone in the league, and that gives everything a little variety. You don’t have to play teams twice, and now it feels a little more like real college baseball.”
One of the primary concerns of the new scheduling format is travel time, as some schools in the state are as many as six hours away from each other.
“We’ve thought about this some and the coaches have brought it up to each other,” Carson said. “As a former player, it is very taxing and I do think it will have an effect on us. With us being in the corner of the state, we will have our share of travel, compared to some of the other schools in the state. The thing is, everyone is going to have to do it, and the problem isn’t limited only to one or two schools.”
For more on Ranger baseball, you can follow the team on Twitter @NWCCBaseball.