BASEBALL: Ball State loses series finale to SEMO
Elliot goes 5-for-5 as Cards get rocked 22-8
After recording its first win of the season Saturday, Ball State was dealt another setback in the series finale.
Despite a 5-for-5 performance at the plate from junior Cody Elliott, Ball State (1-5) took a 22-8 pounding from Southeast Missouri State (5-2), dropping its second consecutive series of the season.
First year coach Alex Marconi said the pitching staff, especially the bullpen, cost his team a couple of wins and the series.
"We showed some definite signs of competitiveness," he said. "[The] guys did not give up at all, even in this past [Sunday] game when we were down.
"The tough part is getting execution out of our bullpen. We've had [a] pretty good starting pitching for the whole year essentially, but the bullpen has let us down. We need to find a way to get some consistency out of them. Not just one or two guys, the whole staff."
For the series, the bullpen tossed a total of 17 2/3 innings, surrendered 28 runs, 25 of which were earned off of 28 hits, walked 19, struckout eight and hit three Southeast Missouri State batters.
Ball State's defense was inconsistent at times, committing errors in crucial situations.
Marconi said bad pitching led to the clumsy defensive play.
"When you put guys on base because of walks or hit by pitches, [our] defense becomes stagnant," he said. "They end up getting back on their heels. That's when the errors end up happening"
The Cardinals' bats made contact with the ball all weekend, sending balls in every direction on the field.
Marconi said the problem was squandering golden opportunities to score with runners on base.
"We did a good job of getting on base with our hits and advancing base runners, but missed a number of opportunities each and every game getting big hits with guys in scoring position," he said.
Prior to the weekend series, Marconi said the Redhawks would come out swinging the bats well.
They did just that, scoring a total of 36 runs to go a long with 43 hits for the series.
The number of veterans on Southeast Missouri State's roster put Ball State in a vulnerable position the entire weekend.
"When you have a whole lineup full of 21 and 22-year-olds, what they're going to do is hit mistakes," Marconi said. "They're going to get ahead in the count very well. That's where we hurt ourselves. We got behind in the count a good amount today.
"When you get behind in the count 1-0, 2-0 to a senior, he's not going to miss that pitch. He's going to put a good, aggressive swing on it and hit it hard somewhere. That's what they were able to do most of the weekend."