Ball State wins 3 of 4 games against Zips in weekend series

<p>Sophomore pitcher Ty Johnson throws the ball in a game against Eastern Michigan March 13 at Ball Baseball Diamond. The Cardinals let up 5 hits against the Eagles. Jacy Bradley, DN</p>

Sophomore pitcher Ty Johnson throws the ball in a game against Eastern Michigan March 13 at Ball Baseball Diamond. The Cardinals let up 5 hits against the Eagles. Jacy Bradley, DN

Ball State Baseball (21-13, 15-3 MAC) missed out on a series sweep over Akron (11-24, 9-15 MAC) after falling to the Zips in its final game April 17. Despite the weekend ending on a loss, head coach Rich Maloney counted it as a successful weekend.

“We won the first three games," Maloney said. "It’s always hard to win four."

Game One

Ball State started the weekend in the win column April 15 with eight runs and 11 hits in the victory over Akron.

Senior third baseman Ryan Peltier was hot at the plate for the Cardinals, going 3-for-4 and a solo home run. Senior center fielder Amir Wright was 3-for-5 and tied for a game-high two RBIs and two runs scored. 

Senior first baseman Trenton Quartermaine and senior right fielder Nick Powell both went 2-for-5 in the batter’s box as Powell had a tied game-high two RBIs and Quartermaine tied the game-high with two runs scored.

While the offense was flowing, Maloney said junior pitcher Trennor O’Donnell and the pitching staff were “fantastic” at the mound throughout the weekend. O’Donnell tied his career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings April 15 and improved to 4-2 on the season.

Games Two and Three

In the doubleheader April 16, the Cardinals won both games by a combined score of 21-1 with 19 hits while only allowing the Zips to get on base 10 times. 

“Well, we’re a confident team,” Maloney said. “You don't have the record that we have, I mean even with that loss we have a great record, [without confidence]. It’s just it's hard to win all the games.”

The Cardinals’ pitching staff had a solid outing as well with junior pitcher Tyler Schweitzer on the mound for the entirety of game one, allowing four hits, one run and a walk. Junior pitcher Ty Johnson lasted six innings in game two, giving up just one hit and two walks before senior pitcher Tyler Ruestchle came in for the final inning, allowing only one hit.

Fifth year Nick Powell slides into home at the game against Bowling Green at the First Merchant Baseball Complex on March 19. Powell had two runs in the game. Jamie Howell, DN

Game Four

Ball State endured a frustrating afternoon April 17, falling to the Zips 4-3. After scoring three runs in the first three innings, the Cardinals went cold and were unable to capitalize on multiple scoring situations throughout the rest of the game.

“We made a couple of pitches, couple mistakes that were costly,” Maloney said. “...They made pitches when they had to and, quite frankly, we didn’t. And in a close game that’s what it comes down to.”

Ball State started fifth-year pitcher Casey Bargo and rotated in freshman Nate Dohm, sophomore Ryan Brown and sophomore Sam Klein.

“So Bargo I thought did a pretty good job, gave us the chance to win,” Maloney said. “Dohn didn't really have much, he had been out for a week. [Dohm] looked really good the other day, he was throwing hard he just didn't have the command he normally has. Maybe one pitch that got away from him in a count that was to his advantage and they took advantage of it. I thought Brown did reasonably well until we just didn't make the play.”

Ball State will head on the road for their next five games, facing Western Michigan (11-21, 8-10 MAC) in a makeup game April 19 before traveling to Dekalb, Ill. to play a four-game series against Northern Illinois (7-27, 6-12 MAC).

Contact Daniel Kehn with comments at or on Twitter @daniel_kehn.


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