Ball State splits Saturday doubleheader, loses series 2-1 to Kent State
Cardinals are 2-4 in MAC play
For the second straight weekend, Ball State found itself on the losing end of a 2-1 series, this time against Mid-American Conference favorite Kent State.
Ball State lost the first two games of the series by a combined 10 runs, committing five errors in the process that helped lead to six of Kent State’s 17 runs in those games.
In game one, Ball State led 2-0 into the bottom of the seventh, but Kent State’s bats woke up. Two singles, two doubles, two walks, and an error helped the Golden Flashes put up six runs in the inning, and went on to win 6-2.
Game two didn’t start off well for Ball State, allowing three runs in the first inning. The Cardinals committed four errors, starting pitcher Jon Cisna threw just 44 pitches, and the team fell 11-5.
“We didn’t execute the fundamentals as well as we would have liked, that’s for sure,” Head coach Rich Maloney said. “They beat us pretty good in game two and the wheels could have come off but we stayed strong for game three and knocked off a great Kent State team.”
For Ball State, the team has committed 14 errors in its last six games, a big part of its four conference losses this season.
Although Maloney isn’t happy with the errors, he says his team will work on getting through them.
“”We have to get back the fielding the way we’re capable, and the fact we haven’t is pretty disappointing,” Said Maloney about the errors. “Teams in baseball go through streaks and right now we just need to fight through this to get back to being the team we know we can be.”
The team bounced back in game three behind sophomore Scott Baker’s arm. Baker threw five innings and gave up just two earned runs, striking out seven.
Allowing three hits in the first inning, Baker quickly settled down and allowed just two more through the next four.
The win extended Baker’s record to 6-0.
The righty is in the nation’s top 10 for wins this season, tied with several other pitchers.
“Baker has been exceptional, both today and during our season,” Maloney said. “I’m very confident every time he’s walking out to the mound.”
Despite the two losses, Maloney said being able to take game three was a big positive for his team heading into next week.