Starting fresh off a season where Ball State struggled to manufacture runs, the same story played out in the Cardinals' season opener.

Failing to score, Ball State lost a pitching duel 1-0.

Cardinals starter Chris Marangon pitched 6.1 innings, facing 25 batters and allowed just four hits and walking three.

Ball State was dominated by Middle Tennessee’s Friday starter, Hunter Atkins. Atkins pitched eight innings, allowing just four hits and no runs and striking out seven in the process.

Atkins was dominant. allowed just three different Ball State players to get hits.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the eighth, when the Blue Raiders' Trent Miller was intentionally walked in order to get to Johnny Thomas. Miller then proceeded to steal second, putting himself in scoring position.

Just a few pitches later, Thomas cracked a line drive into center field, where it dropped, allowing Miller to score and tally the only run of the game for either team.

 Atkins left the game in the top of the ninth after walking Ball State’s Wes Winkle, the leadoff batter.

Reliever Paul Mittura replaced Atkins, and Middle Tennessee’s Dane McNabb threw out Winkle, who was attempting to steal second.

Mittura retired the rest of the side in order, ending Ball State’s chances.

Marangon took a no decision, while reliever Tyler Jordan took the loss to fall to 0-1.

Ball State’s lone offensive bright spot was third baseman T.J. Weir. Weir went 2-for-3, including a double.

Weir made his way to second base twice, but wasn’t able to score.