BASEBALL: Cardinals blanked in series opener
Toledo hands Ball State 10th loss in MAC play
T.J. Weir lasted seven innings and struck out seven, but the Ball State baseball team was shutout for the fourth time this season, falling 5-0 to Toledo in Friday's series opener.
Sophomore lefty Ryan Wilkinson was brilliant for the Rockets, as he tossed a three-hit complete game, the first of his collegiate career. Not only did Wilkinson work his first career complete game, he earned his team-leading sixth victory of the season, while recording a career-high nine strikeouts.
Wilkinson retired the Cardinals in order on five different occasions and set down nine straight until redshirt sophomore first baseman Billy Wellman doubled to right-center field in the top of the seventh.
Wilkinson made quick work of the Cardinals all game. The Cardinals weren't able to send more than three hitters to the plate in seven of their nine at-bats.
It was a tough outing for Weir, who has been a solid starter for the Cardinals following the injury to senior Cal Bowling. Weir was called for a balk in the bottom of the first, allowing the Rockets to score their first run of the game. The Rockets added another tally on a throwing error by the Cardinals to take a 2-0 lead.
It was more of a challenge for the Cardinals' hitters, who amassed just three hits on the afternoon. Weir lined a single through the right side of the infield in the first, before Wellman recorded the teams' second hit with a double in the seventh. Junior left fielder Dominick Catanzarite singled to third base in eighth for the final hit of the game for the visiting Cardinals.
With the win, the Rockets improve to 10-6 in the Mid-American Conference, while the Cardinals were dealt their 10th loss in conference play.
Junior right-hander Chris Marangan (1-4, 4.50 ERA) will take the hill for the Cardinals on Saturday. It will be Marangan's sixth start of the season and his third straight. Despite working 8 2/3 innings against visiting Eastern Michigan last weekend, Marangan was handed the loss.
Senior righty Matt Kuna (4-1, 2.47 ERA) will get the start for the Rockets, who will be looking to third straight conference series and their sixth straight conference game.
First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m at Scott Park.