BASEBALL: Michigan gets early lead, hangs on late against Ball State
Cardinals unable to overcome four errors
Fighting out of an eight-run hole after the first three innings, Ball State University had nothing left in the tank to respond to a late push by the University of Michigan.
The Wolverines scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for a 12-8 victory Friday at Myrtle Beach, S.C. in the Caravelle Resort Classic. Relievers Michael Sandman (0-1) and Heath Riley allowed the final four runs, and Sandman took the loss. Brandon Sinnery (1-0) pitched the final four scoreless innings for the Wolverines, earning the victory.
Michigan jumped on starting pitcher Cal Bowling for nine hits and eight runs in 3 1/3 innings. Only four of the runs were earned. The Cardinals committed four errors in the game, leading to seven unearned runs.
Ball State got back into the game with six runs in the fifth inning. The Cardinals batted around, and second baseman Kolbrin Vitek had a two-run single.
After knocking out starting pitcher Matt Miller, the Cardinals scored two runs in the sixth to tie the game against reliever Matt Gerbe. Left fielder Kory Benbow drove in Vitek and right fielder Ryan Chenoweth with a two-RBI single.
Michigan wasted little time in retaking the lead. The Wolverines loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and back-to-back errors allowed them to score four runs.
Neither team could scratch out a run in the final three innings, though Ball State stranded five runners in that span.
Vitek led the Cardinals offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Third baseman Stephen Claypool also had three hits and one RBI.
The Cardinals have lost four in a row to Big Ten schools, after starting last year 3-0 against the conference. Ball State will get another shot at the Big Ten on Sunday against the University of Illinois.