Potent lineup powers Ball State past defending MAC Tournament champion Ohio

Junior infielder for the Ball State Cardinals Alex Maloney attempts to hit the ball during the game against Dayton on March 18. DN PHOTO GRACE RAMEY
Junior infielder for the Ball State Cardinals Alex Maloney attempts to hit the ball during the game against Dayton on March 18. DN PHOTO GRACE RAMEY

Ball State team statistics vs. Ohio (3 games)

.390 batting average

43 runs

7 home runs

15 doubles

1 triple

25 BB


Correction: The Ball State Daily News previously reported that Alex Maloney hit 8-21 instead of 8-13 against Ohio.

Ball State baseball (17-12, 4-2 MAC) scored 43 runs in three games against Ohio University (11-16, 4-2 MAC) and won two of the three games in the series.

Junior first baseman Caleb Stayton hit two home runs in the series, including a grand slam in Sunday's 20-3 win. He said the offensive outburst was a little sweeter because Ohio beat Ball State in the Mid-American Conference championship game last season 6-2 and won Friday's series opener in extra innings.

"When somebody sends you packing the year before and then you lose a heartbreaker on Friday — we kind of got punched in the face," he said. "Our team responded."

In the three games, Ball State batters hit a combined .390 with seven home runs, 15 doubles, a triple and 25 walks. Head coach Rich Maloney said the balanced lineup is the team's biggest strength.

"There's a constant threat and we need to solidify that," he said. "When you go in to face a team and you know that a lot of different guys are capable of hurting you, that's a psyche advantage. Hopefully we can keep this going."

Junior right fielder Alex Call paced the Cardinals at the plate, going 9-15 with three walks, 10 runs scored, 10 RBIs, four doubles and two home runs. Maloney said Call will likely win MAC West Division Player of the Week honors.

Ball State pitchers allowed 29 runs in the series, but only 19 were earned. In Friday’s 12-6 extra-inning loss, all six runs allowed in the top of the 10th were unearned.

Ball State fielders were only charged with four errors on the weekend. Two of which were committed by junior shortstop Alex Maloney. He now has 12 errors in 29 games played.

At the plate, however, Alex Maloney was 8-13 on the weekend with five runs scored, seven RBIs, a home run, three doubles and two walks. Rich said Alex Maloney and Call helped take the pressure off of the rest of the lineup, especially in Sunday’s 20-3 win.

“You’ve got two guys on fire like that, and then you’ve got Stayton ... it was just one of those games,” he said. “We haven’t had any games like that this year where we were really going to win the game and it was early.”

In their next game, Ball State hosts Xavier (10-18, 0-0 Big East) at 3 p.m. Tuesday. On Friday, they will kick off a home series against MAC opponent Western Michigan (8-17, 1-2 MAC).

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