After sweeping through the first two rounds of the Mid-American Match Play, Ball State men’s golf more than lived up to its No. 1 seed. However, in the second day and final round Ball State faltered and gave the tournament championship away to surging Bowling Green.

The Cardinals dropped the championship round to the Falcons 2.5-3.5.

The only Cardinal to win a full point against the No. 6-seeded Falcons was sophomore McCormick Clouser, who won by two holes. The transfer from Michigan State went 3-0 in his first outing for Ball State over the weekend.

Seniors Alex Stinson, Brodie Williams and Tony Lazzara all finished all-square, accounting for the other 1.5 points for the Cardinals.

After a three-month lull between competitive matches, coach Mike Fleck speculated that his team would be fatigued both mentally and physically after walking 36-holes in a nearly 12-hour outing. That may be a reason why his top-two golfers junior Tyler Merkel and senior Joe Gasser both dropped their matches.

The second and third highest ranked golfers in the event according to Golfweek both faltered down the stretch. Gasser and Merkel outranked their opponents by at least 200 spots.

Gasser was 1 UP thru 16 holes, but could not hold on, while Merkel battled from behind all day.

Stemming from the fall season this is Ball State’s third straight top-two finish.

Fleck could not be reached for comment following the final day of the tournament.

Ball State will take another month off before its next match, the Pinehurst Intercollegiate in Pinehurst, N.C., March 10 through March 12.