Ball State High Point
Runs 3 1
Hits 6 7
Errors 0 0
Last season, Alex Call batted leadoff in 42 of the Ball State baseball team’s 57 games.
Through three games this year, the sophomore right fielder has contributed from the lineup's three-hole, including scoring two runs in Ball State’s 3-1 win over High Point on Friday.
“[Call] was only in the one-hole last year because we had [former Ball State outfielder] Sean Godfrey,” head coach Rich Maloney said. “I think you typically bat your best hitter in the three-hole.”
After falling behind in its first two games of the year - losses to Kentucky and UNC Wilmington - Ball State scored first against High point, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, courtesy of back-to-back RBIs from Call and catcher Jarett Rindfleisch.
Call finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a home run and a triple and starting pitcher Scott Baker rebounded from a tough decision in his first start, striking out five Panthers over 7.2 innings of one-run baseball.
Maloney pulled Baker after his pitch count reached 95, and B.J. Butler struck out three of the final four hitters for the save.
“I thought Baker was excellent, and Butler continued his prowess,” he said. “We didn’t want [Baker] going over 100 pitches and in the top of the eighth it looked like he was getting a little tired; he had pitched such a great game ... [B.J.] looked so good cause he had the changeup going.”
High Point outhit Ball State 7-6, but the Cardinals only struck out three times as a team, while not committing an error.
With the win, Ball State moves to 1-2 on the season, with a rematch against High Point at 10 a.m. on Saturday serving as an opportunity to climb back to .500.
“Anytime you win it’s good,” Maloney said, laughing. “I’m glad we got this one under our belt.”