Tyler Poslosky

It's been a long, frustrating first season for coach Alex Marconi.

When Mid-American Conference foe Eastern Michigan (28-15, 12-6 MAC) handed Ball State an 18-5 beating in Sunday's series finale, the frustrations worsened.

The Cardinals (12-28, 8-9 MAC) were thoroughly embarrassed in Ypsilanti, Mich., this weekend.

They were blown out in game one, self-destructed in game two and were non-competitive in the series finale.

The offense averaged 3.3 runs per game, while the defense committed eight errors and the pitching staff yielded 36 runs in three games.

Junior right-hander Cal Bowling, who was scheduled to start in Friday's series opener, made the start Sunday for the Cardinals.

Bowling was rocked for the second straight conference outing.

The junior pitcher was tagged for six earned runs off of eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings.

In his last two starts, Bowling has allowed a combined 11 earned runs in just eight innings pitched, an ERA of 12.38.

The bullpen was only worse for the Cardinals, who now sit one game below .500 in conference play.

After Bowling exited, Marconi used eight other pitchers, three of which failed to record an out. In all, the bullpen surrendered 12 runs to the Eagles, who scored 16 times in just four innings.

In two of the three games, Ball State's starters failed to last four innings. Both Bowling and senior lefty Derek Grabner lasted 3 2/3 innings in their starts.

Ball State collected multiple hits, but stranded 11 runners Sunday.

Junior centerfielder Cody Elliott went 2-for-5, with a pair of RBIs, while junior Tim Issler went 3-for-5, with an RBI.

The series marked the first time Ball State has been swept in conference play this season.

With only three conference series' remaining, Ball State is in a must win situation from here on out.

The Cardinals will square off against MAC West division rival Western Michigan next weekend at Ball Diamond.