46 runs and 44 hits, if you like offense then this two-game home-and-home series has been for you.
In the first matchup between Ball State and Indiana, the Cardinals struck first then fell behind later in the game. This time Indiana struck first and held the lead the whole game.
Senior pitcher Casey Bargo got the start on the hill for the Cardinals, lasting two and two third innings, giving up three runs in the first and two more in the third inning before getting taken out of the game. Ball State helped Brago out with a solid offense in the bottom of the inning.
“These guys do a good job at that,” Head Coach Rich Maloney said. “They’ve done that time and time again.”
Senior infielder Adam Tellier got the Ball State bats started tallying the first hit in the game for the Cardinals. Following the hit Junior outfielder got walked putting Tellier in scoring position for graduate student infielder Ryan Peltier.
“I was just trying to extend the inning,” Peltier said. “Keeping the pressure on the other team and just try to take advantage of every opportunity we have with runners in scoring position.”
Peltier did just that as he stayed hot with the bat driving in Tellier with two outs, which led to a Ball State rally. Junior infielder Decker Scheffield doubled down the line scoring two more runs in the inning before a hit in by freshman first baseman Blake Bevis to bring the Cardinals within one run.
The Hoosiers and Cardinals both scored one run during the fourth inning before not scoring again until the seventh. Senior outfielder Logan Flood hit a double to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and then advanced on a wild pitch before junior outfielder hit him in on a sacrifice fly. Schulfer held the Hoosiers scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings before giving up a double in the seventh which he was then subbed out for junior pitcher Sam Klein.
During the top of the seventh inning, the Cardinals used three different pitchers while allowing three runs. In the bottom half of the inning, Bevis came back up to bat with runners on first and second. “I know the report on the guy was a heavy slider and he had already thrown five of those,” Bevis said, “I knew at some point, he wasn’t going to keep putting them in there and was going to come in with the fastball and sure enough he did.” That he did and Bevis hit a towering three-run home run to left field to bring the score to 9-8 and put the Cardinals down one.
After Bevis’s home run, neither team scored again. In the ninth inning, junior pitcher Ty Johnson set the Hoosiers down in order before Connor Foley of the Hoosiers did the same thing to the Cardinals.
The high-scoring games are not a shock to Coach Maloney,
“Whenever you play midweek games you’re always in that situation,” Maloney said, “They’re always pretty high-scoring games. Now we’re just gonna grind it out and keep trying to get better with each practice.”
The Cardinals (26-14, 13-5 MAC) travel to Bowling Green (14-22, 8-13 MAC) for a weekend series against the Falcons.
“We just have to play good team ball,” Bevis said, “We’re right in the thick of it at the top of the MAC. We just need to keep playing our brand of baseball and we’ll come out on top and stay at the top.”