MOREHEAD It was a moment that was 44 years in the making.

John Bakke sealed the monumental victory after striking out Little Rock’s Alex Seguine at Sonny Allen Field on May 19.

The 14-10 win gave Morehead State its first outright Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title since 1979. The Eagles improved their overall record to 34-19 and a 16-7 mark in the OVC. Morehead State was one game clear of the Trojans after Saturday’s series finale was rained out.

The Eagles posted 17 hits against Little Rock and belted six home runs to celebrate the occasion. Former Johnson Central star Ryley Preece went 4 for 6 at the plate and hit two long balls. Lawrence County’s Jackson Feltner also went deep along with Roman Kuntz, Nick Gooden and Jacob Ferry.

Morehead State found itself down two runs after the top half of the first frame but answered with three runs in the bottom of the first and scored eight more tallies in the third.

Feltner had a 3-for-5 night at the dish and drove in two runs. The junior leads the team with a .352 batting average. Feltner has 14 home runs and 46 RBIs.

Preece was named the OVC Player of the Year on Tuesday. He became the 10th Eagle in school history to win the award, joining former Raceland basketball and softball coach Shawn Johnson (1985) and former Raceland and Boyd County baseball coach and two-time state champion Jody Hamilton (1979).

Preece was also the first player at Morehead State to record 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season. The junior currently stands at 21 homers and 53 RBIs, which are both team highs. He’s also scored 70 runs and hit 15 doubles.

Eight different Eagles received All-OVC honors at the conference banquet. Preece, Feltner and Kuntz were selected to the First Team. It’s the third time for Feltner on the First Team. He was named Freshman of the Year in 2021.

Preece and Kuntz reside on the team for the first time. Kuntz had four home runs in the final two games against Little Rock and won his first career OVC Player of the Week to close the regular season.

Colten Becker, Luke Helton and Gooden were awarded Second Team distinction. Carter Owens and Luke Lyman took home All-Freshman honors.

Mik Aoki won the 2023 OVC Coach of the Year in his fourth season with Morehead State. The Eagles increased their win total by seven games this season under his leadership. The Eagles lost just one conference series on their way to the title and the No. 1 seed in the OVC Tournament.

“I am honored to be named Coach of the Year,” Aoki said on the school’s athletic website. “It is a reflection of the hard work of both the players and staff, and I am thrilled to receive it as a team award.”

Morehead State will compete for the program’s fifth OVC Tournament championship and an NCAA Regional berth. The event takes place this weekend in Marion, Illinois.

The top-seeded Eagles received a double bye into the second round where the tournament becomes double elimination until Saturday’s final.

Kuntz delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning to defeat Eastern Illinois, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. The Eagles advance to today’s semifinals against the winner of Little Rock and Tennessee Tech.

The game will be televised on ESPN+.

Several Morehead State players have ties to the area. Ashland’s Ryan Atkins, West Carter’s Trevor Callahan and Paintsville’s Gunner Collins and Zach Taylor are all listed on the roster.

Callahan made nine appearances on the mound and had a 1-1 record this year.

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