BASEBALL: Ball State drops series finale to Miami
RedHawks pull away from Cardinals after costly errors late in the game
With a chance to complete its first three-game weekend series sweep over a Mid-American Conference opponent since May of 2010, Ball State couldn't keep Miami off the scoreboard.
The RedHawks scored in each of the first five innings Sunday afternoon at Ball Diamond, en route to a 9-5 victory, salvaging the series finale against the Cardinals (7-21, 3-6).
Coach Alex Marconi said he was pleased with the efforts from his team over the weekend despite, dropping the final game against the RedHawks.
"We'll take a series win," Marconi said. "Whether we win on Friday [and] Saturday and lose on Sunday, whether we lose on Friday and win on Saturday and Sunday, I don't care. I want a series win."
After capitalizing on four combined RedHawks' errors on Friday and Saturday, the visitors were able to take advantage of the Cardinals on a couple of defensive blunders and a bad pitch on Sunday.
"[That's] just baseball," junior captain Blake Beemer said. "We capitalized on their mistakes on Friday and Saturday, and they capitalized on ours today. That's just how it is sometimes."
After sophomore right-hander Jacob Brewer struck out the first batter he faced in the second inning, the Cardinals' starter issued a one-out walk, which led to a two-run home run by leftfielder Marcus Makuch, his first of the season, to give the RedHawks a 3-0 lead.
Ball State narrowed the deficit to one run after its half of the second inning, but Miami added a run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 6-2 lead.
The Cardinals battled their way back, scoring three runs in the sixth. Beemer collected two RBI in the inning with a two-run single to right field, scoring sophomores T.J. Weir and Cody Campbell.
Beemer, who went 2-for-4 on the afternoon, said he just tried to stay loose at the plate and make contact.
"I was just trying not to do too much," Beemer said. "Coach has worked with me a lot about just staying back and relaxed, not getting ahead of myself. I just tried to do what I know I can do and put good swings on the ball, and I was fortunate to get a couple of hits."
After an encouraging three-run inning at the plate, it appeared the momentum shifted toward Ball State. But a pair of errors and a walk allowed the RedHawks to strike for three more runs in the seventh.
Following a walk by junior left-handed reliever Miles Moeller, senior second baseman Mitch Widau botched a ground ball, putting runners on first and third with two outs.
What would have been the final out of the inning turned into another run for Miami. Campbell dropped a foul ball hit by Scott Slappey, and on the next pitch, Slappey lined an RBI double to left field.
"We were in it once we scored those three in the sixth inning, and then we went up and gave those three [runs] right back and that was basically two misplayed balls and a bad pitch in my opinion. Boom, three runs back on the board for them," Marconi said.
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