BASEBALL: Ball State goes winless in South Carolina
Cardinals drop all four games in Caravelle Invitational
It was a rocky weekend for first year head coach Alex Marconi and the Ball State Cardinals in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Ball State dropped all four of its games in the Caravelle Resort Invitational, with its most recent defeat, a 10-2 loss to tournament host Coastal Carolina, Monday evening.
The Cardinals squandered one too many late-inning leads, committed far too many errors in the field.
Ball State was limited to just two hits in its tournament finale against Coastal Carolina, as four pitchers combined to strike out 12 Cardinal batters.
Left-hander Jim Birmingham picked up his first victory of the season after tossing six innings of two-hit baseball, while allowing two unearned runs.
Junior right-hander Cody Elliott dropped to (0-2) on the season as he allowed three runs on five hits in three innings of work.
The Chanticleers plated three runs on four hits and cashed in on a Cardinal error in the bottom of the third inning.
Ball State tallied its only runs of the night in the top of the fifth, narrowing the deficit to 3-2 after sophomore Blake Beemer reached base on an error to lead off the inning. Tim Issler lined a single between the shortstop and third baseman, allowing Beemer to advance to third.
Sophomore Kevin Franchetti followed with a sacrifice bunt, which was poorly fielded by Coastal Carolina, enabling Beemer to score from second. Senior T.J. Baumet made it a one-run contest as he lifted a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Issler.
Coastal Carolina overpowered Ball State, scoring runs in four consecutive innings to blow out the Cardinals by eight.
Prior to last weekend's tournament, Marconi identified the bullpen as his team's largest area for improvement.
However, the bullpen held its own with the exception of a few blunders against Coastal Carolina.
In the four games Ball State played, Marconi used 10 relievers from his bullpen. The group worked a combined total of 17 2/3 innings and allowed 20 runs. Only 10 of those runs were earned.
The defense was faulty at times and very poor at others. Ball State's fielders committed a total of 12 errors.
Offensively, the Cardinals were streaky. Hits rarely came in bunches and runs became harder to come by each game.
Ball State scored just 15 runs in four games for an average of less than four runs per game, while it allowed a total of 38 runs for an average of 9.5 runs allowed yielded to its opponents.
Ball State resumes action Tuesday and Wednesday with a trip Charleston, S.C., with games against Citadel and Charleston.