BASEBALL: Ball State loses game, series at No. 15 Arkansas
Cardinals lack clutch hitting, strand seven runners in scoring position
The University of Arkansas quickly made sure Sunday that Ball State University wouldn't score their second upset of the weekend.
The No. 15 Razorbacks roughed up Kolbrin Vitek for four runs in the first inning, and they never looked back in their 9-3 win. The Cardinals (1-2) will have to be content with their 5-2 victory Saturday in the opening weekend series.
After Arkansas (2-1) starting pitcher Brett Eibner (1-0) struck out the side in the top of the first inning, the hosts came out swinging. The first two hitters reached base, and after Vitek (0-1) retired two Razorbacks. But he wasn't able to get a third out before an RBI single from preseason All-American Zack Cox and an three-run home run from catcher James McCann.
Vitek settled down and allowed only one more hit before being lifted after four innings.
Arkansas would add another run in the fifth, before Vitek drove in right fielder Ryan Chenoweth with a double for Ball State's first run.
The Razorbacks broke the game open with four runs in the seventh inning. The Cardinals attempted a comeback in the eighth inning, adding two runs.
Ball State was unable to get clutch hits Sunday, stranding seven runners in scoring position. In contrast, seven of Arkansas' runs came with two outs.
Eibner, who was on a pitch count, was awarded the win by the official scorer. The junior allowed two hits in three shutout innings, and struck out five Cardinals. Arkansas pitchers combined to strike out 15 hitters.
For full coverage of Ball State's opening weekend at Arkansas, read Monday's edition of The Ball State Daily News.