BASEBALL: Ball State doubles up Northwestern Ohio
Junior Cody Elliot comes home run shy of cycle in win over Racers
With its regular lineup intact, Ball State dodged poor field conditions and a bundle of pitching errors en route to a 12-6 victory over Northwestern Ohio.
Prior to Wednesday's game, Ball State (11-23) hadn't played since Friday, when it swept a doubleheader over Mid-American Conference opponent Buffalo.
"It was important that we got our guys some at-bats ... [to be sure] that [our regulars] aren't so rusty going into the weekend," coach Alex Marconi said.
The Cardinals scored three runs in the second, fifth and seventh innings versus the Racers, who dropped to 10 games under .500.
With a healthy amount of run support, the Cardinals' bullpen managed to hold the Racers in check despite a handful of errors.
Marconi said playing on a wet and softened field was no excuse for making those kinds of errors.
"We didn't have any plays that were [bad field condition] errors," Marconi said. "We just made bad decisions. Three errors by our pitchers, not executing a [pickoff] and just a brain fart at the end."
Freshman left-hander Devin Wilburn pitched four scoreless innings for Ball State while recording five strikeouts.
Marconi used seven pitchers in all, including senior T.J. Baumet, who made his first career appearance on the mound.
Despite the Cardinals' bullpen surrendering four runs, Marconi was pleased with the overall effort from his pitching staff.
"When they come in, [the expectation] is to get outs and compete," Marconi said. "They did that well today."
Junior center fielder Cody Elliott was at the center of Ball State's offense, turning in a 3-for-5 performance, a home run shy of the cycle.
Elliott came up to bat in both the sixth and seventh innings with hopes of accomplishing the feat.
"I can't lie, " Elliott said. "I was trying to. My main focus going up there was trying to hit the ball."
Marconi said he was pulling for Elliott to complete the cycle.
"I was hoping [he'd] go for it," he said. "I'm OK with that, to go for that last hit for the cycle. It's not an easy thing to do."