BASEBALL: Ball State looking to end losing streak
Cardinals to host NAIA-member Indiana Tech as Baker gets first start
Mired in a five-game losing streak and coming off its biggest loss of the season, Ball State will be happy to get back on the field Tuesday against Indiana Tech.
It is all Ball State (4-19) can do after getting swept at home by Kent State over the weekend, a sweep that was punctuated by an 18-2 loss. While the Cardinals had excellent chances to win the first two games of the series, they were simply outclassed Sunday.
But at 3 p.m. today, all of that can be forgotten. Ball State hosts NAIA-member Indiana Tech (20-14)at 3 p.m. at Ball Diamond. First baseman Cody Campbell said the Cardinals just need to move on mentally from their difficult weekend.
"We just have [to] wipe this one clean," Campbell said. "We gave [Kent State] two on Friday and Saturday and they kicked our ass [Sunday]. Just move on to the next game."
Indiana Tech should present a less difficult challenge than Kent State, which is the favorite to win the Mid-American Conference for the fourth-straight season. The Cardinals have not lost to the Warriors since 2001, though it took a run in the eighth and ninth inning to extend that streak last season.
Indiana Tech is a tough NAIA team, however. The Warriors are 6-3 against ranked-NAIA opponents this season and were one win shy of making it to the NAIA World Series last May. This season, Indiana Tech is led offensively by catcher Ignatius Mackenzie, who is hitting .424 with a .508 on-base percentage.
Freshman right-hander Scott Baker will make his first career start for Ball State. He has had mixed results this season, operating on the extremes of performance. In three of his eight appearances totaling six innings, Baker has allowed a combined nine runs on nine hits and six walks. In his other five appearances totaling 6 2/3 innings, he has allowed just one run on three hits and struck out nine batters.
Baker is coming off one of his better outings, pitching 2 2/3 hitless innings Wednesday in a loss to Indiana State.
Coach Alex Marconi said it is important, after its weekend struggles, for Ball State to get off to a good start against Indiana Tech. Baker is imperative to that.
"Clear it, get back and have a good start," Marconi said.
Indiana Tech at Ball State
Game No. 24
First pitch: 3 p.m.
Pitching matchup: RHP Cam Wilson (2-1, 6.53 ERA) vs. RHP Scott Baker (0-0, 7.11)