LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second time this season, Ball State University upset a ranked opponent.
Ball State defeated No. 10 University of Louisville 5-1 in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. Reliever Perci Garner (1-0) threw four innings, allowing one run for the victory. Louisville starter Tony Zych (1-1) took the loss.
Ball State (6-13) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on four two-out singles. Third baseman Tim Issler and second baseman Mitch Widau drove in a run each from the eighth and ninth spot in the lineup.
Ball State added a run in the third and fifth inning before Louisville (17-2) got on the scoreboard. Ball State added an insurance run in the seventh, and Garner and Seth Hobbs combined to close out the game.
Kolbrin Vitek started the game for Ball State and threw four shutout innings before being removed. He allowed three hits and struck out four. Garner added six strikeouts, but walked four.
The loss was just Louisville's second of the year. The University of Mississippi, ranked No. 22, is the only other team to beat Louisville.
Ball State is 2-6 against ranked opponents this year. It upset then-No. 15 University of Arkansas on Feb. 20.
No. 10 Louisville 8, Ball State 3
There would be no messing around from No. 10 Louisville in game one of Saturday afternoon's doubleheader with Ball State.
After a slow start in Friday's series opener, Louisville (17-1) started quickly against starter Cal Bowling (0-3) and defeated Ball State 8-3. The hosts scored five unearned runs in the second inning, and never looked back.
Right fielder Stewart Ijames started the second inning with a single, and Ball State (5-13) then committed back-to-back errors. Shortstop T.J. Baumet booted a double-play ball and Bowling couldn't field a sacrifice attempt.
Bowling got two outs, but shortstop Adam Duvall hit a two-run double. Second baseman Ryan Wright brought in the final two runs of the inning with a home run.
Ball State scored their first run in the fourth inning with a two-out RBI single from designated hitter Nathan Koontz.
Louisville starting pitcher Dean Kiekhefer (2-1) didn't run into trouble the rest of the way. The left-hander threw seven innings, allowing one run on six hits.
Center fielder Cody Elliott returned from a back injury for Ball State. The sophomore was injured a week ago against the University of Michigan, and returned with a 2-for-4 performance.
While Elliott returned to the lineup, third baseman Stephen Claypool did not play. The freshman hurt his ankle rounding second base on Friday.
For complete coverage of the Ball State baseball team's series with Louisville, read Monday's edition of The Ball State Daily News.