The Cardinals played against the Purdue Boilermakers on March 22 at Ball Diamond. Ball State lost 16-4, bringing their ranking to 11-10 overall.
RECAP: Ball State baseball vs. Purdue
The game-time temperature for Ball State baseball's 16-4 loss was 35 degrees, but Purdue's bats were anything but cold.
The Boilermakers recorded 21 hits in 42 at-bats (.500) against a Cardinals pitching staff that entered the game holding opponents to a .216 batting average.
"Once they got the hitting going, boy, sometimes it's contagious," Ball State head coach Rich Maloney said. "And it sure was contagious for them."
Ball State statistics
L — Harmon (0-1)
W — Dellinger (1-1)
The loss marks the first time the Cardinals have lost by 10 or more runs since a 21-2 loss to Central Michigan on May 9, 2015.
"It's just embarrassing first and foremost," senior outfielder Matt Eppers, who finished 2-4 with two triples, said. "I think we all know it's not the representation of the team we are, what team they are. It's just one of those days."
Purdue jumped out to a quick lead with three unearned runs in the top of the first after a throwing error by senior third baseman Alex Maloney, but Ball State answered in the bottom half of the inning.
Eppers led off with a triple and scored when sophomore outfielder Roman Baisa hit a high chopper to first. Purdue first baseman Jacson McGowan bobbled the ball and was credited with an error as Baisa was safe at first.
Baisa scored two batters later when senior shortstop Sean Kennedy hit a hard single that grazed the glove of diving Boilermakers shortstop Harry Shipley. Kennedy also scored to tie it up after the first, 3-3.
After the first, however, the Cardinals mustered just one hit — a fifth inning triple by Eppers — until a pair of singles from Baisa and Kennedy in the eighth inning. By then, Purdue led 16-3.
The Boilermakers only had two extra-base hits though, and a large portion of their hits were seeing-eye singles. In the top of the fourth, for example, Purdue strung together six consecutive singles in a five-run rally.
"It seemed like every inning they had [runners on] first and second and then a ground ball through the hole for a run," Eppers said.
With 13 earned runs allowed, Ball State's ERA shot up from 2.76 — 14th in the country — to 3.26. It's still the best mark in the Mid-American Conference, but Rich Maloney said giving up 16 runs in a single game still hurts.
"It's a disappointing day without question. I mean, come on," Rich Maloney said. "But by the same token, over the course of a long season you're going to have some of these. Hopefully not too many."
Ball State opens Mid-American Conference play at 3 p.m. Friday when it hosts Kent State at Ball Diamond.