BASEBALL: Cards blow out Bobcats to open MAC play with win
Baumet, Garner lead Ball State charge as series concludes today with doubleheader
The first Mid-American Conference game of the season brought easier going and a better result for Ball State University.
Ball State won its MAC opener 10-1 at Ohio University on Friday night. The Cardinals (7-14) never trailed in the game, and got a strong start from Perci Garner (2-0) to carry them. The sophomore won his first career start, allowing just one run on two hits in five innings. Bobcats' starter Seth Streich (0-2) took the loss.
The Cardinals have played one of the hardest schedules in the country this year and the Bobcats (2-16) were a welcome relief from the top-15 teams that have populated Ball State's schedule.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the second and broke the game open with four runs in the fourth. Shortstop T.J. Baumet drove in two runs with a single and designated hitter Blake Beemer followed with his first career home run.
Ohio scored its only run of the game in the fifth when catcher Kris McDonough reached on an error by second baseman Kolbrin Vitek. He would come around to score three batters later on a fielder's choice.
Ball State added two more runs in the sixth, one in the eighth and two more in the ninth. In between, Vitek hit his fifth home run of the season.
Baumet led the Cardinals, going 3-for-6 with four RBIs and two runs. Left fielder Kory Benbow also had three hits for Ball State.
Garner was relieved by junior Derek Grabner, who threw three hitless innings. He also struck out four batters.
Ball State extended its winning streak in MAC openers to four.
The two teams conclude their three-game series today with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The series finale was originally scheduled for Sunday, but was moved to Saturday because of rain in Sunday's forecast.