Yesterday, Ball State and Central Michigan played to a pitchers' duel. Today, it was a full-on shelling by the Chippewas' (8-18, 3-2 MAC) offense.
Central Michigan scored three in the first, two in the second and put an eight spot up in the third to take a 13-0 lead in less than an hour en route to its 23-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.
By the time the third inning was over, all but one Central starter had recorded a hit, and all but two had driven in an RBI. Every CMU starter had a hit by the end of the fifth.
Ball State (14-12, 3-2 MAC) starter Kyle Nicolas lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up five earned runs and seven hits before being pulled by manager Rich Maloney.
"You got to flush it (and move on)," Maloney said. "In baseball, whether you lose by one or lose by 20, it doesn't look as good, but the truth of the matter is it counts as one loss, and we got whipped today, fair and square."
However, it would be the third inning when things truly got out of hand. Ball State pitching walked three straight batters with the bases loaded, followed by a grand slam by freshman catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell to expand the lead to 13-0.
The Chippewas would go on to score in every inning but the eighth and ninth in Saturday afternoon's slaughter.
Central Michigan junior starting pitcher Michael Brettell went seven innings, giving up one run and just three hits as Ball State struggled to find baserunners throughout.
"We still have the opportunity to get a series win," senior center fielder Colin Brockhouse said. "That's our main goal everytime. We just got to flush it and move on to the next one."
Ball State finally got on the board in the fifth, when junior left fielder William Baker grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Sophomore Noah Powell would cross the plate for the Cardinals on the play.
The Cardinals will be back in action Sunday in the rubbermatch against the Chippewas at 1 p.m. at Ball Diamond. Sophomore right hander Tyler Hankins will start for Central Michigan; Ball State's starting pitcher is not yet known.