First year coach Alex Marconi notched his first collegiate victory Saturday afternoon against Southeast Missouri State (4-2).
The game lasted three hours and 42 minutes and went 13 innings before Ball State (1-4) tallied four runs to secure its first win.
The Cardinals scored the game's first run in the top of the third after two errors by Redhawks shortstop junior Kenton Parmley.
Parmley's second error of the inning enabled left fielder Kirby Campbell to score from third base to put Ball State ahead 1-0.
Campbell was in the mix again for Ball State in the top of the fourth, lining an RBI single past third base. Junior second baseman Mitch Widau scored on the hit, making it 2-0 Ball State.
The Redhawks rallied to tie the game at 2-2 in their half of the sixth inning.
With a man on first and no outs, red shirt senior third baseman Nick Harris hit a towering home run to left field off of Ball State senior starting pitcher Derek Grabner. It was Harris' 25th career home run.
Grabner was lifted after six innings of work for fifth year senior Scott Brothers Jr,, who tossed more than 2 innings of two-hit baseball for Ball State.
Fellow fifth year senior Morgan Coombs came on in relief in the eighth inning. Coombs followed Brothers by tossing 2 and 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, keeping the score tied at 2-2.
Ball State was held scoreless until the top of the 13th inning when it struck for four runs.
Campbell doubled to put the go-ahead run in scoring position for the Cardinals. After senior shortstop T.J. Baumet was intentionally walked, Campbell scored from second following a third error from the Redhawks infield.
With two men on and two outs, Widau lined a two-run single to right center, making the score 5-2 Ball State.
Sunday's projected starter, freshman lefty T.J. Weir worked a scoreless frame in the bottom of the 13th inning to cap the game for Ball State.
For the second consecutive game, Ball State tallied 10 or more hits with its total of 14 on Saturday.
Baumet went 3-for-5, with a run scored, two singles and a double on the afternoon. Widau was 3-for-6, with a run scored and collected a pair of RBIs. Campbell finished the game going 2-for-6, with an RBI, two runs scored and a strikeout.
The Cardinals and Redhawks will battle it out in the series finale Sunday.
It's unknown whether Weir will make the start for Ball State following his two innings of work Saturday.
Senior right-hander Brad LaBruyere will take the mound for the Redhawks. LaBruyere has yet to earn a decision in 2011, while supporting a 4.91 ERA.
First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Capaha Field.