BASEBALL: Ball State drops fourth straight game
Louisville breaks game open in middle innings, wins 14-5
Coming off the best start of his career a week ago, right-hander T.J. Weir was roughed up at Louisville on Saturday in one of the worst starts of his career.
Weir allowed nine runs in 3 2/3 innings and Ball State lost 14-5 at Louisville. The loss is Ball State's fourth in a row, matching the Cardinals (3-11) longest losing streak of the season.
Weir struggled to close out innings and Louisville took advantage. All nine of the runs Weir allowed were scored with two outs in the inning.
Weir also was unable to contain Nick Ratajczak and Stewart Ijames, Louisville's two best hitters. Ratajczak went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and a walk against Weir. Ijames was 2-for-2 with a three-run home run and five RBI.
Ball State did keep the game close early, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the second inning to tie the game at two. Kirby Campbell worked some two-out magic of his own, driving in two runs with a triple down the right field line.
The Cardinals threatened again in the third when Blake Beemer and Elbert Devarie hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Weir followed up with an RBI-double to help himself, but Ball State's rally stalled, once again thwarted by an inability to hit with runners in scoring position. Cody Campbell, Tim Issler and Brandon Estep, Ball State's No. 4 through No. 6 hitters, were unable to bring home either Devarie or Weir, and Louisville right-hander Jeff Thompson escaped the jam unscathed.
Ball State would have no such luck. Between its season of five errors and Louisville's 17 hits, the most allowed this year by Ball State, runs were plentiful for the hosts. Louisville extended its lead with seven runs in the middle innings, effectively ending any chance for a Ball State comeback.
Ball State did add a pair of runs in the ninth inning, but the game was well out of hand at that point. Kirby Campbell went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run to lead Ball State's offense. Devarie also had two hits and an RBI.
Ball State and Louisville will conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. Right-hander Chris Marangon will start for Ball State.