BASEBALL: Ball State comeback downs Buffalo
Cardinals score final six runs for victory Saturday
Down quickly to the University at Buffalo, Ball State University scored the last six runs of the game for a 6-5 victory.
After a poor start from Cal Bowling, the Cardinals' offense was able to squeeze out enough runs against Bulls (15-17, 3-8) starter Pierre Milville-Deschenes to tie the game in the fifth. Center fielder Cody Elliott then hit what proved to be the game-winning home run to greet reliever Brian Pullyblank (1-3) in the sixth.
Derek Grabner (2-1) got the victory for Ball State (16-18, 9-2), pitching 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. The junior allowed just one hit and struck out four.
The Bulls didn't go quietly at the end of the game, twice getting runners to second and third with two outs. In the seventh, it appeared center fielder Adam Skonieczki delivered a clutch hit down the right field line, but home plate umpire Scott Taylor ruled it a foul ball. Grabner finished off the Buffalo threat with a strikeout.
Closer Aaron Hammons got two quick outs in the ninth inning, but a walk and a double gave the Bulls one more chance with Skonieczki at the plate again. He tested Elliott with a difficult fly ball to the track in center field, but Elliott hauled in the final out of the game for Hammons' third save.
Ball State has won its first four Mid-American Conference series and moved back into a first-place tie with Central Michigan University. The University of Toledo, which was tied with Ball State for second at the start of the day, lost 8-7 to Bowling Green State University, dropping the Rockets two games behind the leaders.
Ball State and Buffalo will conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.