Kolbrin Vitek's phenomenal performance gave Ball State University a 4-0 victory at Ohio University in game two of a doubleheader.
Vitek (1-2) threw seven shutout innings for his first victory of the year. The junior also helped his own cause with a run and an RBI.
The win secured Ball State's first series victory of the year to open the Mid-American Conference season. The Cardinals (8-15) split the first two games of the weekend, winning 10-1 Friday, before dropping the first game Saturday 4-2.
Vitek got Ball State going with a two-out single in the first inning. He stole second and scored on catcher Zach Dygert's single. The Cardinals added two more runs in the third with RBIs from right fielder Blake Beemer and Vitek. They scored their final run in the sixth on an RBI double from first baseman Ian Nielsen.
That was more than enough for Vitek. He did not allow a hit for the first 4 1/3 innings, and only faced two more batters than the minimum. Vitek allowed just two hits and struck out six Bobcats.
Relievers Seth Hobbs and Aaron Hammons continued the dominance of Ohio. Though both hit a batter, they each also rolled a double-play ball. Ball State had three twin killings in the game.
Game 1: Ohio 4, Ball State 2
Gauntlett Eldemire showed Ball State University why he is one of the best players in the Mid-American Conference on Saturday afternoon.
The Ohio University center fielder hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to give the hosts a 4-2 win in Game One against Ball State. Reliever Scott Brothers (1-1) served up the long ball and took the loss. Bryce Butt (1-4) threw the final five innings for the Bobcats, earning his first victory of the year.
Ohio took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Cal Bowling. The first four Bobcats singled off the sophomore before he settled into the game.
Second baseman Kolbrin Vitek drew a two-out walk in the third inning and scored Ball State's first run on designated hitter Zach Dygert's double. The Cardinals tied the game in the sixth inning when Dygert led off the inning with a walk. He stole second and advanced to third when catcher Kris McDonough's throw sailed into the outfield. First baseman Ian Nielsen brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
But Ball State was unable to get anything else against Butt. They had runners on first and third with one out in the seventh inning, but right fielder Blake Beemer grounded into an inning-ending double play with Vitek on deck.
In the ninth, the Cardinals again put runners on the corners with no one out. But Butt struck out the next two hitters and shortstop T.J. Baumet flew out to left to end the game.
Dygert and third baseman Stephen Claypool each went 2-for-4 for Ball State.
Eldemire led the Bobcats offense, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs.
For a full recap of this weekend's series at Ohio, read Monday's edition of The Ball State Daily News.