BASEBALL: Pair of Cardinals lead team to series win
After dropping the first match up against the Broncos, the Cardinals needed strong performances from their team to take the series.
Those came from Alex Maloney and T.J. Weir, whose abilities helped Ball State win the final two meetings with Western Michigan.
T.J. Weir’s last 3 outings
April 05: 7 innings, 8 hits, 2 earned runs, 9 strikeouts
April 12: 8 innings, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, 8 strikeouts
Saturday: 9 innings, 7 hits, 0 earned runs, 14 strikeouts
Weir delivered a career performance in the second game of the series, going the full nine, allowing no earned runs and a career high 14 strikeouts. It was the third straight time he’s pitched at least seven innings.
“[Weir] is just getting ahead in the count,” head coach Rich Maloney said on his starter’s recent success. “That allows him to throw his breaking ball or elevate his fastball, and when you can do either one of those you have a chance to strikeout a lot of guys.”
Weir’s impressive week was not only rewarded by a Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Week award but also with head coach Maloney’s confidence that the redshirt junior will move up in the rotation and become the Cardinals Friday night starter.
In the series’ finale, Alex Maloney hit a game-tying three-run home run and was hit by a pitch in the 10th inning to bring the winning run home from third.
Sitting at 27-13 overall and 11-3 in MAC play, the Cardinals travel Tuesday to Indiana University for a game, before heading to Mount Pleasant, Mich. for a three-game series against the West Division leading Central Michigan.
The Cardinals trail the Chippewas by a few percentage points for the top spot in the division, and the winner of the series will hold the inside track to a MAC title.
“I think it’s going to be a whale of a series,” Maloney said. “It’s going to be very intense with two really good teams battling it out. It’s going to be a dogfight.”