BASEBALL: Missed chances lead to Ball State’s loss to Bowling Green
The Daily News
Ball State and Bowling Green entered Tuesday’s baseball game with identical 4-5 conference records, with both teams wanting to take advantage of the midweek game to bolster itself in the standings.
With the wind blowing strong out to center field, Ball State took advantage early.
Sean Godfrey cranked a home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the first inning to give his team a 1-0 lead. Godfrey almost had his second home run of the day in the bottom of the third after Blake Beemer walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
He got a hold of another pitch and sent it to deep center, but the wind died and so did the ball, getting caught at the start of the warning track.
“Any day you have the wind blowing straight out like that, adjustments have to be made,” Godfrey said. “When you’re up to bat, you really want to get something high and up in the air. On the field, you play a little deeper.”
After a hit batter to start the bottom of the fourth, Wes Winkle dropped a fly ball that could have ended the inning. The ball hit Winkle’s head, who immediately fell to the ground.
Winkle was OK, but two runs scored and it was 2-1, Bowling Green.
T.J. Weir took matters into his own hands in the bottom of the fourth. After Billy Wellman singled to start the inning, Weir slammed a home run to center, giving Ball State a 3-2 lead.
After Tyler Curry doubled, he advanced to third on a Kevin Schlotter groundout and came home on Brandon Estep’s flyout to left to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead. Kyle Raleigh relieved Weir for the top of the fifth, ending Weir’s no-hit bid.
“We knew he was going to be on a pitch count, it wasn’t anything more than that,” Ball State coach Rich Maloney said. “We need to make sure he’s ready for the weekend.”
The wheels came off, and it was all downhill for Ball State.
Cameron Schooley relieved Raleigh, but loaded the bases with just one out. Righty submarine pitcher Tyler Jordan came in, but walked the next batter to make it 4-3.
Bowling Green’s Logan Walker hit a sharp grounder to first and Estep tagged the bag for the out, but his throw to home plate was late and Bowling Green tied it at four before the inning ended.
The Falcons took the lead back in the top of the seventh off of multiple singles, each which found the holes in the infield and Jordan was pulled for Miles Moeller, Cardinals trailing 7-4.
Ball State had numerous opportunities to score, but couldn’t take advantage.
After Winkle singled to start the bottom of the seventh, Blake Beemer struck out. Godfrey doubled to left but Winkle was thrown out going to third and Wellman grounded out to end the inning.
“We didn’t take advantages when we had chances, we had some base running blunders that hurt,” Maloney said. “If those don’t happen, we get a few more batters up and that could translate to more runs.”
Ryan Spaulding hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 7-5, but it wasn’t enough as Ball State couldn’t score in the ninth and fell to Bowling Green.
Maloney and the Cardinals won’t have much time to dwell on the loss. They turn around and travel to West Lafayette to face Purdue on Wednesday.