After snapping a seven-game losing skid at Akron on Sunday afternoon, Ball State made a brief return to Muncie before departing for Dayton with a 4 p.m. game against the Flyers today.
For junior captain outfielder Blake Beemer, this date has been circled on his calendar since the season schedule was released. For Beemer, a Dayton native, it's a homecoming he's been anxiously anticipating.
"I'm excited to head back for the first time, having a chance to play at Dayton," Beemer said.
Beemer and the rest of the Cardinals will look to build off their last game, a 2-1, 12-inning victory over the Zips, when they take on the Flyers.
Sophomore right-hander Jacob Brewer is scheduled to take the mound for the Cardinals with hopes of notching his first victory of the season. Brewer (0-0, 2.35 ERA) has tossed 7.2 innings for the Cardinals this season while striking out three and walking six.
Offensively, the Cardinals will face junior right-hander Kyle Coenen (0-1, 8.18 ERA), who has made two starts and appeared in three games for the Flyers this season. Coenen has worked 11 innings, allowing 10 earned runs and walking eight.
It's been a slow start for the Cardinals, who have yet to win back-to-back games, but Beemer believes this group of guys can rally together and get hot.
"We were in a lot of those games early on," Beemer said. "We lost a lot of close games, but that's just baseball for you. You have ups and downs and I think we were ready and we're still ready now that conference [play has started], and we're going to do the best we can to make sure we win those close games.
"We just need to make sure we take these games seriously. We know that it's a great chance to get everything up. Get our swings going, our arms back in shape and just get us ready for Kent State this weekend."
While Beemer is thrilled about playing in front of his family and friends, he hasn't put a greater emphasis on this game than any other, he said.
"I try not to think of it too big," Beemer said. "It really is just another game, but it does have a little bit deeper meaning, going back and playing in front of the fans and friends that I've known growing up. It's a great chance to show them what I've become and what the opportunity Ball State has given me to become."