Baseball beats Dayton in both games of home-opening doubleheader

<p>The Ball State baseball team took on Eastern Michigan on April 5 at Ball Diamond. Ball State won 20-5.</p>

The Ball State baseball team took on Eastern Michigan on April 5 at Ball Diamond. Ball State won 20-5.

Top Ball State performers

LHP Kevin Marnon -- W (game 1), 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

RHP Colin Brockhouse -- W (game 2), 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Catcher Jarrett Rindfleisch -- 5 hits, 9 AB, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI

First-baseman Caleb Stayton -- 4 hits, 8 AB, 2 doubles, 1 BB, 2 R, 3 RBI

Third-baseman Sean Kennedy -- 4 hits, 8 AB, 3 doubles, 4 RBI

In its first two home games of the season, Ball State baseball (10-9) took both halves of its home-opening doubleheader against the University of Dayton (3-13), 9-3 and 6-1.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Colin Brockhouse started game two on the mound and was credited with the win after striking out eight and allowing one run in 6.2 innings pitched. He said the Cardinals were overdue for a home game.

"We've been gone for four weekends and it gets kind of tiring with all of the bus trips and stuff like that," he said. "It's good to be home and take two right away."

Brockhouse is now 2-2 on the season and dropped his ERA to 3.09 on the season.

Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Kevin Marnon (3-2) was credited with the win in game one after striking out six and allowing three earned runs in seven innings pitched. He now has a 3.52 ERA this season.

Head coach Rich Maloney said the pitching staff has shown improvement throughout the season.

"Today was a great step forward -- huge step forward," he said. "You start getting quality starts with the lineup that we have [and] we'll be a tough team to beat."

Both games featured fifth-inning Cardinal rallies -- in game one they scored six runs with two outs in the fifth and they scored four runs in the fifth inning of game two.

In game one, Ball State trailed, 2-0, with two outs in the bottom of the fifth with runners on first and third when junior catcher and cleanup hitter Jarrett Rindfleisch stepped up to the plate.

Rindfleisch worked a 2-2 count before ripping the ball down the left field line for an RBI double, cutting the Flyers' lead to one run, 2-1.

With Rindfleisch on second and junior first baseman Caleb Stayton on third, junior shortstop Alex Maloney came through with an RBI single to right-center field to give Ball State a 3-2 lead.

After an infield single by Brockhouse, who was the designated hitter in game one, and an RBI single from junior center fielder Matt Eppers, junior third baseman Sean Kennedy stepped into box as the ninth Cardinal batter of the inning.

Kennedy knocked in Brockhouse and Eppers with a two-RBI double to left-center field, capping the six-run rally.

In the fifth inning of game two, Eppers stepped in with the bases loaded and one out. He lifted the pitch to left-center field and hit the wall on the fly for a two-RBI double.

After a pitching change by Dayton, Kennedy one-hopped a double off of the right-field wall for two RBI, capping the four-run inning.

Rindfleisch was 5-9 at the plate in the two games, hit two doubles, and also hit an opposite field two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth in game one, his third of the season. He also threw out two Dayton baserunners that tried to steal second.

Rich Maloney said the doubleheader showcased his catcher's all-around game.

"He's one of the better catchers in the country and he's certainly proving that," Maloney said.

Originally scheduled for 3 p.m., the home opener was pushed up to 1:30 p.m. with the second game immediately following it.

The doubleheader scheduled for March 19 will now be a single game after concerns of snowfall on Saturday morning. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.


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