BASEBALL: Bowling takes the mound in first Miami game
Marconi looking to lessen the load on overworked pitchers
One day removed from its longest game since April 24, 2004, Ball State will take the field once more, resuming Mid-American Conference play with a three-game series against Miami starting today at 3 p.m.
Ball State's last four games have gone to extra innings, with three of the four resulting in losses.
But coach Alex Marconi doesn't believe his team is too worn out from the extra play over the past few days.
"I think we've overextended some guys on the mound a little bit and that's the thing we have to be careful with about this weekend," Marconi said. "Other than that, I think we've done a good job preparing them to be in pretty good shape."
Senior right-hander Cal Bowling (2-2, 3.96 ERA) will take the mound for the Cardinals (4-20, 1-5) today. Bowling will be making his team-leading eighth start of the season. Bowling leads the MAC in innings pitched this season, with 50.
In his last outing against Kent State on March 30, Bowling worked six innings, allowing four runs and striking out six in a no decision.
Bowling will certainly have his hands full with the Redhawks, who are hitting .306 as a team this season.
"They do swing the bats well," Marconi said.
In order to counter against the Redhawks dangerous offense, the Cardinals will need to produce at the plate as well. The Redhawks' ERA of 5.65 will work in favor of the Cardinals, who are looking get back in the mix in the MAC.
"They're struggling a little bit defensively," Marconi said. "They're struggling a little big on the mound. We're going to have to pitch well and take advantage of their pitching staff this weekend."
Though the Cardinals have won one of their last five games, Marconi said there is a new feel to his team.
"It's good baseball," he said. "Our team is playing well and they should have confidence. I can see the relaxed state of the team. Our team was more comfortable and relaxed than they have been all year in that situation."