The Ball State baseball team fended off a late rally from Bowling Green to take game one of Saturday’s doubleheader 3-2.
Scott Baker found an early groove for the Cardinals. Through the game’s first eight innings, Baker faced more than three hitters only twice, and allowed just three base hits.
As they did in Friday’s contest, Ball State got on the board first with an RBI single by catcher Jarrett Rindfleish in the bottom half of the first inning. An eighth inning single through the left side of the infield would give Rindfleish his second hit and RBI on the day, stretching the Cardinals’ lead to 3-0.
The Falcons used a ninth inning rally to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-2, but freshman Zach Plesac relieved Baker to record the final out and save his fourth game on the season.
With two saves in the first two games against Bowling Green already to his credit, freshman pitcher Zach Plesac took the mound in the series finale attempting to earn his sixth win on the season.
Neither team was able to get anything going early on, as both Plesac and Falcons’ starter Andrew Lacinak were able to make their pitches and control the pace of the game.
With two outs in the top of the third inning, Falcons’ shortstop Brian Bien knocked a double to right field bringing home two runs giving Bowling Green the 2-0 lead. The deficit was the first the Cardinals had faced all weekend.
Lacinak’s dominance on the mound continued, and through four innings, Ball State’s offense looked off balance and unsure of itself. All of that changed in the fifth as the Cardinals sent nine hitters to the plate and left the inning holding on to a 3-2 lead.
Senior T.J. Weir extended Ball State’s advantage to two with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. The insurance run would prove to be the difference in the game, as Bowling Green was able to plate one in the top of the ninth inning before Tyler Jordan relieved Plesac and sealed the sweep for the Cardinals.
Plesac finished the game pitching 8.2 innings and striking out five.
Ball State will put its six-game win streak to the test Tuesday when the team travels to Valparaiso, Ind., to take on the Valparaiso Crusaders. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.