Junior Ball State baseball players Alex Call and Caleb Stayton were selected to the College Sports Information Directors Association Academic All-District team. Call is tied for the National Collegiate Athletic Association lead with both 23 steals and 62 runs scored. DN FILE PHOTO GRACE RAMEY
Seventh-inning home run lifts Ball State over Bowling Green
Junior right fielder Alex Call stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, a runner on second and Ball State in a 1-1 tie with Bowling Green State University.
Call turned on the first pitch he saw from Bowling Green sophomore right-handed pitcher Zach Carey and lifted it to left field for his sixth home run of the season. The go-ahead two-run home run put the Cardinals ahead by the final score of 3-1.
W - Matt Haro (3-1, 2.08 ERA)
L - Zac Carey (3-6, 6.00 ERA)
S- BJ Butler (3-0, 8 saves, 2.48 ERA)
Ball State hits - 8
Bowling Green hits - 7
Ball State extra-base hits - 3
Bowling Green extra-base hits - 0
Call finished the game 2-4 with a home run and a double. He is 4-27 slump in his last seven games, but said the only real difference in his approach was where the ball landed.
“I’ve been feeling great – well, actually, yesterday I had food poisoning and was throwing up,” he said. “Today I felt a lot better, and I’ve been seeing the ball well. ... You know, it’s just baseball. You can’t expect to get three hits in every game.”
Senior left-handed pitcher Matt Haro (3-1, 2.08 ERA) was credited with the win after entering the game in the third inning. He pitched five scoreless innings and struck out three while only allowing three hits and two walks.
Haro said the Cardinals bounced back well from Friday's 5-1 loss in the series opener.
“It’s a conscious effort just to let it go,” he said. “It’s really easy to take that with us, but as a team, after last game, we talked to each other about letting it go. I think we did a good job of that today.”
Junior right-handed pitcher Zach Plesac started the game for the Cardinals but was pulled after allowing one run in two innings. Head coach Rich Maloney said Plesac was pulled because “he didn’t feel right.”
“We don’t take no chances with him,” Maloney said. “So we’ll let someone check him out and see if he can get better.”
Maloney also said he expects the Cardinals to hit well in Sunday’s series finale after lots of hard contact from Ball State batters, including Call’s home run and freshman Roman Baisa’s third-inning triple.
“Sometimes, the great game of baseball, sometimes there’s a little stroke of luck in there,” he said. “We’ve been a little bit snakebitten from stringing together the big inning. Perhaps tomorrow will be our day – the wind’s gonna be blowing out, it’s gonna be sunny, it’s gonna be warmer and these guys are about ready to bust through. I’m thinking tomorrow we might score a few runs.”
Ball State (24-16, 10-4 MAC) will host Bowling Green (15-24, 5-9 MAC) at 1 p.m. April 24 in the series finale.