Junior infielder Ryan Spaulding prepares to hit the ball during the first game of the double header against Buffalo on March 28 at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY
Late comeback leads Ball State over Butler
The Ball State baseball team scored two runs with two outs in the ninth inning to cap off a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over Butler on April 15.
"We pulled this one out of a hat today," head coach Rich Maloney said. "But we will take it, and hopefully we can build on it."
Junior Scott Tyler reached on an error to start the inning and was driven in by sophomore Matt Eppers after a single from sophomore Zach Plesac.
April 17 - at Eastern Michigan - 6 p.m.
April 18 - at Eastern Michigan - 3 p.m.
April 19 - at Eastern Michigan - 1 p.m.
April 22 - at Purdue - 5:30 p.m.
Plesac scored the winning run on a single from junior Ryan Spaulding. It was Spaulding's lone hit of the game.
Butler outhit Ball State 14-10 in the game.
Sophomore Alex Call scored the first run for the Cardinals in the fourth inning after singling and being driven in by freshman Colin Brockhouse. Call finished 3-4 at the plate.
"Early in the year, I was really struggling," Call said. "It just comes down to coming out with more confidence and trusting both yourself and your teammates, because in baseball it all comes full circle, ... and you're going to have your good days like today."
The Cardinals had a good day on the mound, using five pitchers to hold the Bulldogs to two runs.
Freshman Mitch Gibson started the game, pitching five innings and allowing one earned run on eight hits.
"I thought [Gibson] did great," Maloney said. "We were going to redshirt him, but a few weeks ago we had a lot of injuries and were running low on pitchers, and we needed him to step up."
Sophomore David Current and fifth-year senior Devin Wilburn combined to throw the next two innings. Current allowed four hits, but had three strikeouts.
Freshman Brendan Burns faced eight batters in the final two innings while allowing one run in the top of the ninth before the comeback.
"The way we won was not exactly an everyday thing," Call said.
With the win, Ball State is now 23-12 on the season. It will put its 8-4 Mid-American Conference record on the line as it begins a three-game series against Eastern Michigan on April 17.
The game will begin at 6 p.m. in Ypsilanti, Mich.