Second baseman Seth Freed attempts to get a Dayton runner out at second during the Cardinals’ game against the Flyers on March 18 at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. Paige Grider, DN File
Ball State baseball falls to New Orleans in Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic opener
Ball State baseball (2-3) dropped its first game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic to tournament host New Orleans (3-3) Friday night.
In a scoreless game through four innings, New Orleans scored the first run in the first ever meeting between the two teams in the fifth inning that later resulted in a 10-1 victory over Ball State.
Right-handed sophomore John Baker started on the rubber for the Cardinals and held the Privateers to just two hits through the first four innings. However, New Orleans exploded for six runs on a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Redshirt junior infielder Collin Morrill sparked the six-run inning with a base-clearing double. Two batters after Morrill picked up his three RBIs, redshirt senior outfielder Cody Ducote knocked out his second home run of the season to pick up three RBIs of his own.
Ball State picked up its lone run of the contest in the top of the eighth on a RBI double from junior outfielder William Baker. However, Morrill picked up another pair of RBIs in the eighth with a single, advancing to second base on the throw to put the game out of reach.
The Cardinals struggled at the plate against junior left-hander Bryan Warzek, who struck out 12 batters and held Ball State to just two hits in 7.0 innings of work to tally his first win of the season.
Ball State will wrap up the Allstate Sugar Bowl earlier than planned as the schedule has been adjusted. The team will now play a doubleheader on Saturday to conclude its weekend at Maestri Field. Ball State's first game against Virginia Tech is slated for noon ET (11 a.m. CT), followed by the final game of the weekend against Iowa at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT).