BASEBALL: Cardinals end season with series win
Ball State concludes season with win over Toledo
On a day that honored three seniors before the game, Ball State finished its 2010-11 season Saturday afternoon on a high note.
Ball State defeated Toledo 11-6 in the final game of the regular season, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 series win.
Coach Alex Marconi said the series win isn't necessarily crucial for next year's team since the season is still a year away, but it is big for the summer.
"It's important they were successful so when they get back out there again in another week or two, they've got that fresh in their memory and to build on," Marconi said.
Marconi also said the Ball State pitching staff's performance against Toledo is very important going into next season.
"I think it's pretty important because our whole staff is freshman and sophomores, essentially, from this year," Marconi said. "In addition, it's important for those guys to have a little taste of success."
At the beginning of the game, Ball State quickly jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Sophomore designated hitter Blake Beemer made the score 1-0 after his ground out to Toledo freshman second baseman Zack Michael scored sophomore left fielder Kirby Campbell.
After senior shortstop T.J. Baumet loaded the bases with a hit by pitch, freshman right fielder Sean Godfrey blasted a grand slam over the left field wall to make the score 5-0.
Three more runs came in for the Cardinals as Campbell, junior second baseman Mitch Widau, and junior third baseman Tim Issler all hit RBI singles with two outs.
Godfrey said his mindset going into the at-bat was to drive in runs to ensure a victory for the seniors.
"This day is for the seniors, pretty much," Godfrey said. "It's our last game for sure, so you want to do something for them and end on a good note."
After a scoreless second inning by both teams, Toledo cut the deficit to 8-3 in the top of the third inning. Freshman second baseman Zack Michael made the score 8-1 after his RBI single to left center drove in sophomore third baseman Wes White.
After a flyout by senior left fielder Dan Sherwood, junior center fielder Ben Hammer hit a ball to Widau that resulted in a fielding error and a run to be scored by Michael.
Sophomore designated hitter Andy Mix ended the scoring for the Rockets after an RBI single to the left side of the field scored senior shortstop Chris Dudics.
Toledo made the deficit 8-4 in the top of the fourth inning when junior right fielder Jeff Cola smacked a solo home run over left field.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Ball State added three runs to its lead. Baumet started the offensive surge with a towering home run over the left field fence.
Sophomore center fielder Wes Winkle then added an RBI sac fly to left center that drove in Godfrey. Sophomore left fielder Dominic Catanzarite wrapped up the scoring for the Cardinals with an RBI double to left field, driving in freshman first baseman Cody Campbell.
Down 11-4 in the ninth, Toledo senior first baseman Jason Edwards hit a fielder's choice to Widau that scored sophomore center fielder Tyler Grogg.
Junior first baseman Matt Delewski cut the lead to five when he hit a sacrifice fly to score White.
That was the closest the Rockets would get.
Senior right handed pitcher Scott Brothers Jr. picked up the win for Ball State in his final game at Ball State. Brothers Jr. threw the first two innings for Ball State and gave up only one hit.
Brothers Jr. said to end his career with a win is a great feeling.
"It feels really good," Brothers Jr. said. "There's really not much to say about that."
Ball State finishes the 2010-2011 season with an overall record of 15-35 and an 11-15 record in Mid-American Conference play.