Then-sophomore outfielder Alex Call begins to run to first base after hitting 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
Ten-run 3rd inning pushes Ball State past Dayton, 10-0
Ball State baseball hit three homeruns during a 10-run, third-inning rally in its 10-0 victory over the Dayton Flyers.
The last time Ball State scored at least 10 runs in an inning was in the third inning of its 15-9 victory against the University of Toledo on May 14, 2009.
Head coach Rich Maloney said he was surprised by the offensive outburst because of the direction of the wind.
Third inning play-by-play
Junior third baseman Sean Kennedy grounds out to shortstop. One out.
Freshman left fielder Roman Baisa singles up the middle.
Junior right fielder Alex Call singles through right side, Baisa to second.
Call and Baisa double steal, advance to second and third. Call advances to third and Baisa scores on throwing error by Dayton junior catcher Matt Poland. 1-0 Cardinals
Junior second baseman Ryan Spaulding walks, runners on first and third.
Spaulding advances to second on a wild pitch, Call scores. 2-0 Cardinals
Junior first baseman Caleb Stayton hits a two-run home run over the right field wall. 4-0 Cardinals.
Junior catcher Jarrett Rindfleisch singles to right field.
Junior shortstop Alex Maloney hits a two-run home run down the left-field line. 6-0 Cardinals.
Sophomore designated hitter Colin Brockhouse walks.
Junior center fielder Matt Eppers hits a bunt single down the third-base line. Brockhouse advances to second.
Kennedy works a full-count walk. Bases loaded.
Dayton sophomore right-handed pitcher Danny Hentz relieves senior righty Sam Brunner.
Baisa hits an RBI sac fly to centerfield, Brockhouse scores. 7-0 Cardinals. Two outs.
Call hits a three-run home run to right field. 10-0 Cardinals.
Spaulding flies out to left field
10 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, 1 error.
"I mean, that wind was blowing straight in," he said. "I didn't think there would be a homerun all day, and to hit three of them, and almost a fourth, was pretty impressive."
Junior right fielder Alex Call hit a single and a three-run homerun in the inning, as the Cardinals hit around the batting order. He had a wide grin on his face as he said the team nearly earned a sugary treat from junior third baseman Sean Kennedy, who led off the inning with a ground-out to the shortstop before working a full-count walk in his second at-bat.
"If a guy makes two outs in the same inning, he has to buy the whole team doughnuts," Call said. "We had a chance."
Junior first baseman Caleb Stayton and junior shortstop Alex Maloney each hit a two-run homerun in the third. The 10 runs scored were the most the Cardinals have scored in a single inning this year.
In total, Ball State batters were 12-34 at the plate with six walks and four strikeouts.
While the team was led by its offensive play, it was the defense that started the Cardinals off on the right foot in the top of the first inning.
In the first at-bat of the game, Dayton rightfielder Mitch Coughlin hit a hard line-drive to right field for an apparent base hit, but Call charged the ball and rifled it to first. The play went down as a 9-3 putout in the scorebook, as the throw beat Coughlin to the bag.
Call said he was ready for the play.
"I knew I'd have a chance to do it today with the wind, so I worked on that play in batting practice," he said. "It worked out for me."
On a ball in the dirt, junior catcher Jarrett Rindfleisch gunned the ball to second base from his knees to catch Flyer centerfielder Glenn Jones stealing, recording the second out of the first inning.
After the umpire called Jones out, a fan cracked a joke about the Constitutional right to bear arms.
"Second Amendment rights!" the fan shouted. "We've got the right to carry!"
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Brendan Burns (3-1) earned the win for the Cardinals after throwing six scoreless innings and striking out two.
Ball State will close out the four-game series against Dayton at 1 p.m March 20 at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.
Rich Maloney said freshman right-handed pitcher T.J. Harmon will make his first collegiate start in the game. In six relief appearances this season, he's pitched 8.1 innings, struck out three and allowed three earned runs.