BASEBALL: Ball State defeats Albany behind strong relief pitching, offense
Cisna, Sandman combine for 7 2/3 shutout innings in relief
Overcoming a five-run deficit, Ball State University halted its four-game slide with a 10-6 defeat of the University of Albany on Saturday.
The Cardinals (3-6) fell behind 6-1 in the second inning, as starting pitcher Scott Brothers delivered the worst start of the season for Ball State. The senior lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits. But freshmen Jon Cisna and Michael Sandman combined for 7 2/3 shutout innings, and Ball State's offense rallied for nine runs.
Saturday was just Brothers' second start for Ball State, but followed a great outing last weekend. The right-hander allowed five hits in the second inning before he was replaced by Cisna.
The Cardinals tied the game with four runs in the fifth and took the lead on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Kolbrin Vitek in the seventh.
Vitek drove in two runs, despite not having a hit against the Great Danes. Ball State was led offensively by left fielder Kory Benbow, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs. Shortstop T.J. Baumet also had three hits and three RBI.
Cisna earned his first collegiate win and Sandman picked up his first save. The two combined to allow only three hits and tallied six strikeouts. Also, no Ball State pitcher allowed a walk or hit a batter, something that had been a problem in the first two weeks of the season.
Ball State will continue the Caravelle Resort Invitational with a game against No. 13 Coastal Carolina University today.