The Ball State baseball team suffered an 11-1 loss to the visiting Toledo Rockets on Sunday. 

Ball State was riding a seven-game winning streak coming into the final installment of a three-game series versus Toledo. 

Head coach Rich Maloney had become accustomed to his team playing solid defense during the span of its win streak. The team averaged a 1.89 ERA over six games and gave up three earned runs in the seventh win. 

Sunday’s game played out differently. The Rockets drove in more runs in one contest than the Cardinals had allowed in the four previous games. 

Toledo took momentum early and never looked back. A four-run third inning, in which the Cardinals committed three errors, knocked the wind out of a confident Ball State team. 

“We just had that bad inning,” Maloney said. “We just played poor defense, and we opened the windows for them. Then the floodgates opened.”

Junior pitcher T.J. Weir relieved starting pitcher Jon Cisna in the fifth. The next three innings went by fairly quickly, as neither team was able to score. 

“T.J. came in and settled things down for a little while, but we just couldn’t get anything going,” Maloney said. 

The same was not true for the Rockets. A pair of seventh inning runs pushed the score to 6-0 in favor of Toledo. 

Toledo piled on five runs in the ninth and final inning to cap off their 11-run day. Ball State was able to drive in its lone run of the game in the bottom of the frame. 

Junior Seth Vautaw grounded out to send Cole Griesinger to the plate. Toledo pitcher Ryan Wilkinson held the Cardinals to just five hits over eight innings pitched. 

“Their pitcher was outstanding,” Maloney said. “They saved him for Sunday, and hey, he had a great game.”

With the loss, Ball State moves to 26-21 overall, with a 13-11 record in the Mid-American Conference. 

Being that the Cardinals clinched a playoff spot after winning the series’ first two games, Maloney took the loss in stride. He told his players to keep their heads up and put the defeat behind them. 

“I just told 'em. We’ve gotta start a new streak," he said.