BASEBALL: Ball State drops second straight game against Western Michigan
Cardinals lose two in third straight conference series
Times have been better for the Ball State.
Saturday's 2-0 loss against Mid-American Conference West division rival Western Michigan widened the gap between Ball State (12-30, 8-11). and a chance at the MAC Tournament.
Junior right-hander Cal Bowling started for the Cardinals. Ball State's No. 1 pitcher has been dealing with a back injury sustained a few weeks ago.
Bowling lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one run off four hits against the Broncos.
Although it wasn't Bowling's best outing of the season, it was certainly an effective one.
Senior lefty Derek Grabner came on in relief in the sixth inning and finished the game for the Cardinals, who used a total of five pitchers in Friday's 18-6 loss.
Grabner, who has usually been the regular Sunday starter for coach Alex Marconi, worked 3 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits.
Despite walking three, Grabner struck out two.
The Cardinals' offense never found its grove. Totaling just four hits and stranding five runners, Ball State failed to record a multiple hit inning against Broncos lefty Casey Webber, who was dominant.
Webber tossed 7 1/3 innings for the Broncos, allowing just four hits in the process.
The Broncos tallied a run in the fourth and eighth innings en route to their third straight victory.
The Broncos (21-15, 9-11) hold a one game lead over the Cardinals in the West, as both teams are vying for a spot in the conference tournament.
The series finale will take place this afternoon, with a 1 p.m. first pitch.