Cardinals blow past Bobcats in series finale 20-3

Ball State’s junior infielder Sean Kennedy hits the ball in the game against Dayton on March 19. DN PHOTO GRACE RAMEY
Ball State’s junior infielder Sean Kennedy hits the ball in the game against Dayton on March 19. DN PHOTO GRACE RAMEY

Ball State team hitting statistics

20 hits

20 runs scored

4 home runs

6 doubles

12 walks


Four Cardinal home runs, including a grand slam from junior first baseman Caleb Stayton, powered Ball State (17-12, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) past Ohio University (11-16, 2-4 MAC) 20-3.

Ball State baseball had not scored 20 runs in a game since April 5, 2014, when it beat Eastern Michigan 20-5.

Stayton stepped into the box in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded, one out and the Cardinals already holding a 7-2 lead.

The 6-foot-3 left-handed batter lifted the 2-2 from Ohio redshirt sophomore left-handed pitcher Gerry Salisbury to center field.

Bobcat senior centerfielder Manny De Jesus drifted back to the warning track, but the ball cleared the 395-foot marker painted on the fence. Stayton’s sixth home run of the year gave Ball State an 11-2 lead.

Stayton said the Cardinals’ batters fed off of one others' momentum.

“It gives all of the hitters confidence to see other people barreling it up,” he said. “I think once somebody gets hot, everybody gets hot.”

As a team, Ball State was 20-45 at the plate with four home runs, six doubles and 12 walks. Head coach Rich Maloney said the performance showcased the Cardinals' potential.

“We feel like we’ve got a potent lineup that’s starting to show itself,” he said. “We just really haven’t put it all together like we did today.”

Senior designated hitter Scott Tyler kicked off the six-run fifth inning with his first home run of the season.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior right fielder Alex Call hit a 3-run home run, his fourth home run of the season. He was immediately followed by junior shortstop Alex Maloney, who added another home run.

Sophomore pitcher Brendan Burns (4-1, 2.70 ERA) was credited with the win after allowing two runs (one earned) in five innings while striking out six, allowing three hits and walking five.

Rich said the best part of the win was jumping out to an early 6-1 lead after four innings. He said it put the game out of reach for the Bobcats.

“We’ve had some where we’ve won by 5, 6 runs, but normally the game wasn’t decided until later,” he said. “It’s nice to have one [early].”

In its next game, Ball State will host Xavier at 3 p.m. April 5 in non-conference action.

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