Tyler Poslosky

Following a brief three-game road trip, which saw it drop two of three to Mid-American Conference rival Ohio last weekend, Ball State returns to Ball Diamond in a mid-week matchup with Northwestern Ohio of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

The Cardinals (8-25) split a doubleheader with the Bobcats on Sunday after being rained out on Saturday, making the bus ride home a little more enjoyable.

"We did some things to help them win the first two games," coach Alex Marconi said. "Even though we didn't give up, we fought back in game two. Over the weekend, I thought we did a great job with that. At the end of the day it's a series loss."

At 3 p.m. Ball State will play for the third time in the last 48 hours.

Freshman right-hander Scott Baker will look for his first collegiate victory in his third career start for the Cardinals. Baker (0-0, 6.55) has made 11 appearances for coach Alex Marconi this season, tied for the third most this season.

Baker has worked a total of 22 innings and has allowed 16 earned runs off 22 hits this season. While walking 17, Baker has tallied 22 strikeouts while owning the second best batting average against on the team at .265.

However, Baker's last outing against Butler at Victory Field on April 10 didn't go well. Though he allowed five hits, Baker issued seven walks to just four strikeouts and was tagged for four earned runs in five innings.

"Scott Baker got very lucky," Marconi said. "[He] walked seven in five innings and was very lucky he didn't have a tougher outing than he did."

Northwestern Ohio is tied for first with Davenport in the WHAC with a .305 team batting average.

True freshman infielder Jordan Crowell leads the Racers offensively with 41 hits, 62 total bases and a .564 slugging percentage.

This game presents another opportunity for Ball State to gain experience before heading into this weekend's three-game series with conference opponent and West Division-leading Eastern Michigan.

"We've got to improve on some things and we've got to continue to get better," Marconi said.