It’s been a productive spring season for freshman Joey Ranieri, coming off strong performances at the Butler Invitational and Mason Rudolph Championship for Ball State Men’s Golf. Although the Cardinals fell short of a top-10 finish at the Boilermaker Invite on April 13-14, placing 11th out of 15 teams, Ranieri’s score of 143 placed him in a tie for 22nd through two rounds to lead the team.

“Joey’s doing a great job,” head coach Mike Fleck said. “His preparation during the off-season, and his commitment to bettering himself in the areas he needed to improve in are paying off. He’s playing with confidence right now and that helps the team.”

The Cardinals began tournament action with two rounds on Saturday. Round one saw Ranieri hit a career-best 68 to finish 4-under-par, marking his third straight round with a score of 60 or less.

Boilermaker invite recap 

1 Illinois State - 560

2 Purdue - 561

3 Oklahoma - 562

4 Northwestern - 570

5 Michigan - 574

6 Southern Illinois - 575  

T7 Wisconsin - 576 

T7 Notre Dame - 576 

9 Santa Clara - 580  

10 Cincinnati - 584  

11 Ball State -  585  

12 Kent State - 587  

13 Indiana - 589   

14 Miami (OH) - 594  

15 Northern Illinois - 601

In round two, the Cardinals were led by freshman Yianni Kostorous. Kostorous’ score of 73 in the second round led the Cardinals, as he would finish in a tie for 76th with a combined score of 154 in both rounds. 

Ball State was rounded out by senior Timothy Wiseman, sophomore C.J. Jones and redshirt sophomore Keegan Bronnenberg. Wiseman and Jones recorded scores of 148 as they both tied for 52nd, while a 149 from Bronnenberg placed him in a tie for 53rd.

The Cardinals were scheduled to play a third round Sunday, but inclement weather made Saturday’s standings final. 

Despite Ranieri’s strong showing, Fleck said his team’s performance reflected the message he’s been telling his players all season: to play collectively and focus on a team effort. 

“We need to get contributions across the board,” Fleck said. “We’re pretty good and we did that in round one. In round two, we didn’t necessarily play poorly, but we didn’t play great and get the low numbers.”

While Fleck said the Cardinals need to focus on mentality, the team placed ahead of all MAC schools in the tournament: Kent State, Miami and Northern Illinois. Illinois State finished first, with a total score of 560 at 16-under-par.

“We beat the MAC schools that were there, and we had a quality head-to-head against Kent State,” Fleck said. “That shows our guys that we can play with the best teams in the league. We’re going to see a lot of the same MAC schools at Ohio State this weekend, so we still got some confidence from this one.”

The Cardinals will be back in action April 19-20 for the Robert Kepler Invitational at Ohio State.

Contact Connor Smith with any comments at cnsmith@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cnsmithbsu