But in the fifth inning, the game unraveled for Jacob Brewer and the Cardinals' bullpen, as the Flyers exploded for 10 runs, cruising to a 14-5 victory Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Stadium.
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After snapping a seven-game losing skid at Akron on Sunday afternoon, Ball State made a brief return to Muncie before departing for Dayton with a 4 p.m. game against the Flyers today.
After struggling to score runs all weekend at Akron, Ball State coach Alex Marconi was willing to take a gamble in the 12th inning on Sunday. After T.J. Weir tripled with one out in the inning, Marconi flashed the sign for a suicide squeeze.
Akron used a six-run sixth inning to cruise to a 6-3 victory Saturday afternoon in Akron, Ohio.
The Cardinals managed just three hits against Akron right-hander Andrew Brown, and the Zips won the conference opener 4-0.
When Alex Marconi looks across the diamond and into the home dugout this week at Akron, he will see a familiar face.
Coming off the best start of his career a week ago, right-hander T.J. Weir was roughed up at Louisville on Saturday in one of the worst starts of his career.
Louisville scored eight runs in the final two innings Friday, defeating Ball State 9-4.
The final weekend tune-up for Ball State before Mid-American Conference play begins March 23 may provide the Cardinals their biggest test of the season.
The frustration was palpable in coach Alex Marconi's voice. Though the Ball State starting rotation had seemingly been righted with a shakeup last weekend at Middle Tennessee State, the bullpen remained as much a problem as ever.
For the first three weekends of the season, Ball State struggled to get much of anything going on offense. It was ranked 256th in the nation with 59 hits, an average of 7.375 per game.
Ball State lost 7-4 at Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, falling to 3-8 this season.
Ball State beat Middle Tennessee State 5-4 Friday afternoon, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Tennessee beat Ball State 9-7 in Knoxville, Tenn., Wednesday.
Its bats stifled by Missouri's starting pitching for the second day in a row, Ball State was again unable to overcome an early deficit and lost 9-2 Sunday.
Things didn't get much better for the Cardinals the rest of the afternoon and they lost to the Tigers 15-5.
Cal Bowling threw his fifth career complete game and Ball State beat Missouri 5-2 Friday night in Columbia, Mo.
The Cardinals begin their Spring Break trip Friday with a three-game series in Columbia, Mo., and Bautista is scheduled to start Saturday.
Coach Alex Marconi was left with mixed feelings after Ball State was swept in a three-game series at the University of Alabama at Birmingham this weekend. Before finishing the sweep with a 7-4 victory Sunday afternoon, the Blazers won each of the first two games in their last at bat.
Patrick Palmeiro, Rafael's son, hit a one-out, RBI triple in the 12th inning to give UAB a 1-0 victory against Ball State on Saturday.