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 (3-16) 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.
The two teams will complete their three-game series this afternoon. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but is being played as a doubleheader due to tomorrow's forecast. Ball State is 1-1 in the second game of doubleheaders this year.
Read Sunday's edition of The Ball State Daily News for full coverage of the games.