Stymied by UAB starting pitcher Beau Pender, Ball State dropped the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 6-0.

The Cardinals (2-3) were held to just three hits by Pender (1-0) and reliever Nick Graffeo. The Blazers (1-2) scored a run in the first inning, which proved to be all they would need. The victory was UAB's first of the year.

After allowing the run in the first, Ball State starter Cal Bowling (0-1) settled down and retired nine batters in a row. However, he ran into trouble again in the fifth inning when a two-out walk to second baseman Nick Crawford proved costly.

The Blazers put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh inning off reliever Morgan Coombs, who earned the save Friday night.

But the Cardinals' lack of offense largely made the insurance runs unnecessary. Pender kept Ball State off balance for seven innings, striking out nine.

Right fielder Ryan Chenoweth was the only Cardinal to reach third base all game. He doubled to lead off the fourth inning and advanced to third on a balk. However, Pender struck out first baseman Ian Nielsen and left fielder Kory Benbow to end the Ball State threat.

All-American second baseman Kolbrin Vitek was held hitless for the first time all year. The junior went 0-for-4, and did not hit the ball out of the infield.

Continue to check for updates throughout the second game of the doubleheader and read Sunday's issue of The Ball State Daily News online for full coverage of the action.