BASEBALL: Baker’s gem lifts Ball State past Buffalo
Ball State ace Scott Baker led his team to a 5-2 victory over Mid-American Conference opponent Buffalo today.
From the start of the game, Baker pitched sharply. In four of the first five innings, he retired Buffalo hitters in order and ended the day with seven such innings. The complete game is a season first for a Cardinal pitcher and also gives Baker his fourth win on the year.
The leader of the Ball State pitching staff kept Buffalo’s lineup off balance for the majority of the game, allowing just two runs on four hits. Baker did hand out two walks, but his nine strikeouts made up the difference.
Offensively, the Cardinals were led by the bottom third of their order. The hitters in coach Rich Maloney’s lineup were responsible for five of the team’s nine hits, as well as three of the four RBIs.
Ball State’s Alex Maloney knocked a third inning single to center field, bringing designated hitter T.J. Weir around for the game’s first run. A RBI groundout by second baseman Ryan Spaulding later in the inning gave the Cardinals the 2-0 lead.
After Buffalo tied the score in the bottom half of the inning, Ball State responded by plating two more runs in the fourth to retake its two-run advantage. A Buffalo error in the top of the ninth made the score 5-2, and Ball State would hold on to win its 18th game of the season.