BASEBALL: Ball State blows early lead, falls to Kennesaw State
Owls score 15 runs in only two innings
It was a sloppy nine innings that was embedded with errors for Ball State (0-2) Saturday. The result was a 17-9 loss to Kennesaw State, the second straight defeat of the season for the Cardinals.
In terms of offensive production, nine runs is considered a successful day. That wasn't the case for Ball State in the second game of a weekend series.
At one point, the Cardinals held a 9-2 advantage over the Owls, only to watch their opponent score 15 unanswered runs in the span of two innings.
The Owls drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning when junior first baseman Andy Chriscaden drove a two-run double to right center field.
The Cardinals rallied with a six-run fourth inning, as junior second baseman Mitch Widau stroked a RBI line-drive up the middle to put Ball State on the scoreboard. Third baseman Tim Issler then singled home a run, knotting the score at 2-2. An error by Kennesaw State followed by another Ball State hit produced four more runs for the Cardinals.
Ball State added three more runs in their half of the sixth, but Kennesaw State exploded for 12 runs off of just two hits and four Cardinal errors. A total of nine walks were issued to the Owls from the Cardinals pitching staff in the inning.
Senior southpaw Derek Grabner gave way to his bullpen after recording two outs in the fifth inning. Grabner tossed 4.2 innings, yielding two earned runs on four hits.
The bullpen couldn't shut the door on the Owls, as the combination of redshirt freshman Kyle Raleigh, redshirt junior Seth Hobbs, fifth year senior Morgan Coombs, sophomore Michael Sandman and freshman Cameran Schooley allowed 15 runs, seven earned and walked 11 Kennesaw State hitters.
Ball State was held scoreless over the final three innings as Kennesaw State (2-0) earned its second victory of the season.
Junior center fielder Cody Elliot went 2-5 with four RBIs in the loss, while senior shortstop T.J. Baumet was 0-3 with an RBI, two walks and two strikeouts.
Ball State looks to salvage the final game of the weekend series with Kennesaw State Sunday afternoon. It'll be a battle between two left handers, as freshman T.J. Weir for Ball State goes up against junior Zak Griffith for Kennesaw State.