BASEBALL: Ball State falls short in MAC West title game
The Daily News
The Ball State baseball team fell to Northern Illinois in extra innings on Saturday. Though the Cardinals fought back from a 3-0 deficit, they were unable to put the Huskies away at the end of the game.
NIU put up one run in the first inning to take the lead. Ball State was unable to find any rhythm on offense until the fourth inning.
The timing was impeccable, as the Huskies got things going offensively in the fourth inning as well. A deep ball to left field resulted in an RBI double for Northern Illinois.
After a single to deep center-field put runners at first and third, an NIU batter would ground out and send one across home plate.
The rally stopped there, but not before the Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Cody Campbell responded in the bottom of the inning with a huge two-run homer over the left-field wall. The long ball sent Sean Godfrey across the plate for Ball State’s first run of the game.
Godfrey was not done for the day, as he had a huge hit of his own in the bottom of the seventh inning. His RBI double to right field tied the game at 3.
T.J. Weir remained in the circle through the ninth inning. He prevented the Huskies from scoring in the final three innings of regulation, but Ball State was unable to capitalize on offense.
The game went to extra innings, and Weir had to step off the mound due to having exceeded his pitch limit. He pitched 8.2 innings allowing just two runs on seven hits, and struck out eight batters on the day.
Miles Moeller relieved Weir, and quickly gave up two earned runs. Coach Rich Maloney then turned to Tyler Jordan to close the game out.
Jordan allowed just one additional hit in the inning, but the game had already been put out of reach.
Ball State would score one run before being closed out in the bottom of the frame, pushing the final score to 6-4 in favor of Northern Illinois.
The defeat moved the Cardinals’ record to 28-23 overall with a 15-12 record in the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies moved to 22-32 overall and 16-11 in the MAC.
The Huskies claimed the MAC-West regular season title with the win.
Ball State will enter the MAC Tournament, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, as the No. 4 seed.