A strong afternoon showing from Ball State on Oct. 6 at the Firestone Invitational improved its ranking from 12th place after the morning round to tied for eighth with just one round to go.

Highlighting the Cardinal's performance on day one were freshmen Johnny Watts and Michael VanDeventer, both sitting in the top 10.

Watts managed to put up the team's top individual score for the day with a 71 (-1), while VanDeventer managed to score the team's best round in the afternoon with an even-par 72.

Seniors McCormick Clouser and Zach Yinger also also sit in the top third of the field.

Xavier is currently leading the tournament with an overall team score of 577, with Akron and USC Aiken both five strokes behind in a tie for second. 

Ball State is currently trailing Saint Mary's in seventh place by four strokes, with two strokes separating Saint Mary's from fifth place. 

The Cardinals looks to finish strong in the third and final round of the tournament with the first tee off at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 7. Ball State will be paired with Saint Mary's and Illinois State.