Kolbrin Vitek's phenomenal performance gave Ball State University a 4-0 victory at Ohio University in game two of a doubleheader.
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The first Mid-American Conference game of the season brought easier going and a better result for Ball State University.
Gauntlett Eldemire showed Ball State University why he is one of the best players in the Mid-American Conference on Saturday afternoon.The Ohio University center fielder hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to give the hosts a 4-2 win in Game One against Ball State. Reliever Scott Brothers (1-1) served up the long ball and took the loss. Bryce Butt (1-4) threw the final five innings for the Bobcats, earning his first victory of the year.Ohio (3-16) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Cal Bowling. The first four Bobcats singled off the sophomore before he settled into the game. Second baseman Kolbrin Vitek drew a two-out walk in the third inning and scored Ball State's first run on designated hitter Zach Dygert's double. The Cardinals tied the game in the sixth inning when Dygert led off the inning with a walk. He stole second and advanced to third when catcher Kris McDonough's throw sailed into the outfield. First baseman Ian Nielsen brought him home with a sacrifice fly.But Ball State was unable to get anything else against Butt. They had runners on first and third with one out in the seventh inning, but right fielder Blake Beemer grounded into an inning-ending double play with Vitek on deck. In the ninth, the Cardinals again put runners on the corners with no one out. But Butt struck out the next two hitters and shortstop T.J. Baumet flew out to left to end the game.Dygert and third baseman Stephen Claypool each went 2-for-4 for Ball State.Eldemire led the Bobcats offense, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs.The two teams will complete their three-game series this afternoon. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but is being played as a doubleheader due to tomorrow's forecast. Ball State is 1-1 in the second game of doubleheaders this year. Read Sunday's edition of The Ball State Daily News for full coverage of the games.
When Ball State University arrives at Ohio University for its first Mid-American Conference series of the year, the Cardinals will find a team very similar to them.The Bobcats (2-15) have struggled through a difficult nonconference schedule and are dealing with injuries to their pitching staff. Both teams view this weekend as the start to the more important part of the season."It's important to get off on the right foot," Ball State coach Greg Beals said. "It's important for us to just play good baseball."The Bobcats have struggled more than the Cardinals (6-14) this year and are on a seven-game losing streak."We've struggled mightily," Ohio coach Joe Carbone said. "It's a new season basically. It doesn't make any difference what we did before."Ball State had hoped pitcher Morgan Coombs would return from an elbow injury this week to boost it going into conference play, but the senior has been shut down "indefinitely" as the team gets a second opinion.Beals will use Perci Garner in Coombs' spot in the rotation. Garner has not started a game since returning to baseball after spending two seasons as the third-string quarterback at Ball State. He is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts in six appearances this year."I'm hoping he can give five [innings]," Beals said. "He threw four a couple times. I don't want him to try and do anything more than what he's already done. Hopefully he can get us off to a good start on the weekend."Ohio is also missing their first two starters and will start three freshman this weekend."That's not ideally what we want to do," Carbone said, "but we'll roll the dice with them."Offensively, the Bobcats are led by center fielder Gauntlett Eldemire. The preseason All-American is hitting .433 with 19 RBIs. Beals called Eldemire one of the MAC's best players."We have to make sure he's not the guy that beats us," Beals said. "We need to make sure the Ohio University team beats us and not just Eldemire."Most importantly, however, Beals is hoping his team plays with a better demeanor.He said while it has been a small problem all season, it came to a head after a disappointing 11-5 loss at Tuesday at the University of Notre Dame. In practice this week, Beals has made it a focus."It's not about winning and losing, its about doing the right thing," Beals said. "Playing with the right attitude, playing with the right intensity and making sure we're making all the right plays."Ball State at Ohio at Bob Wren StadiumGame No. 21First pitch: 6 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Perci Garner (1-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. RHP Seth Streich (0-1, 9.64)Weather: 45 degrees, sunny, north 9 mphGame No. 22First pitch: 3 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Cal Bowling (0-3, 5.85) vs. RHP Ryan Bores (0-4, 7.65)Weather: 59 degrees, partly cloudy, SSE 8 mphGame No. 23First pitch: 1 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Kolbrin Vitek (0-2, 4.64) vs. RHP Brock Trimbur (0-1, 1.98)Weather: 58 degrees, thunder showers, south 9 mph
A sloppy start spiraled out of control for Ball State University Tuesday afternoon as it lost 11-5 at the University of Notre Dame.The Cardinals (6-14) couldn't capitalize on a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the top of the first, as Ian Nielsen grounded into an inning-ending double play. Let up off the mat, the Fighting Irish (8-11) scored eight runs in the first two innings and never looked back.Starting pitcher Brad Piatt (0-3) took the loss, but most of the damage was done in the second inning with reliever Michael Sandman on the mound. The freshman allowed six runs on six hits while retiring just one batter. Coach Greg Beals said Sandman left the ball up in the zone and Notre Dame was able to take advantage.With the Mid-American Conference season set to begin Friday, Beals wanted to get work for many members of his pitching staff. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the first four pitchers all allowed at least one run before the game settled down."It was a disappointment," Beals said. "Our pitchers all knew they would only get an inning or two at the most, and the fact they didn't pitch sharp is disappointing."Ball State's defense also faltered early. In the six-run second inning, shortstop T.J. Baumet rushed himself trying to turn a double play and wound up getting no outs. Center fielder Cody Elliott also committed an error in the fourth run, which led to an unearned run.The large deficit was too much for the Cardinals to overcome."Especially being down 8-0 after two innings, it was disheartening," catcher Kevin Franchetti said. Ball State had the bases loaded in both the first and third innings but was only able to score once. The Cardinals stranded at least one runner in each of the first eight innings and 11 overall. In Ball State's upset at No. 10 University of Louisville on Saturday, it was able to get timely hitting. Beals said that was the difference in the two games."I was very disappointed with the offense," he said. "With the pitching we saw today, we should have been more offensive. The bats have to fight our way back into the game."Franchetti led the Cardinals offensively. He went 2-for-4 with his first two career RBI. His first RBI came on a two-out double in the fifth, and he added a two-out triple in the seventh.Franchetti said the RBI felt even better because of the work he has put into his swing."It felt good to come up big," he said. "Especially working with coach the last couple months."For the sixth time this year, the Cardinals failed to win back-to-back games. Ball State has two days to get ready for their conference opener at Ohio University on Friday night.With MAC play starting so soon, Beals isn't taking the loss lightly."It does give you some concern," Beals said. "I said we needed to play good baseball and we didn't. I would have liked to have a good game going into conference play."
Fresh off its victory at No. 10 University of Louisville on Saturday, Ball State University will travel to the University of Notre Dame and take on another Big East opponent Tuesday afternoon.The Cardinals (6-13) are looking for their first win against the Fighting Irish since 2005, when they routed Notre Dame 14-5."It's a big game for us," coach Greg Beals said. "It's like playing any Big Ten school. We're playing against a bigger program and looking forward to it."Shortstop T.J. Baumet said the Cardinals won't be afraid of any teams this year after beating two top-15 teams already."We think we can play with any team," he said. "We just need to start the winning close games."The Cardinals will give the ball to right-hander Brad Piatt (0-2) to start Tuesday. But Piatt won't stay in the game long, as Beals tries to get his pitching staff ready for the start of Mid-American Conference play Friday at Ohio University. One pitcher he really wants to get in the game is closer Aaron Hammons, who didn't pitch at all at Louisville because of the game situations."Aaron's one of our top go-to guys in the bullpen," Beals said. "It's important we get him in on Tuesday."Notre Dame (7-11) has struggled this year. It has lost four in a row and was swept last weekend at home by Michigan State University. The Irish have not found a consistent lineup yet this season, using a different one in each of the first 15 games this year.First baseman Casey Martin leads Notre Dame with a .421 batting average and 16 RBI.Beals said on paper the Irish appear to be in a down year after contending for a spot in the NCAA Tournament for many years."They're struggling on defense more than anything," he said. "They've played a good schedule. I think they're a lot like we are."Notre Dame's schedule hasn't been nearly as arduous as what Ball State has played. The Irish have played one ranked opponent, losing to then-No. 23 Ohio State University in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge on Feb. 27. Notre Dame also played the University of Illinois in the Challenge, losing 11-1. The Cardinals lost to the Illini 10-3 March 14. Beals just wants Ball State to play good baseball, regardless of the competition."It's important that we go up there and play a good game," Beals said. "It's a big game for us no matter where they're at."Ball State at Notre DameGame No. 20First pitch: 5:05Frank Eck StadiumPitching matchup: RHP Brad Piatt (0-2, 7.98 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Sharpley (0-0, 6.75)Weather: 55 degrees, partly cloudy, northwest 9 mph
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second time this season, Ball State University upset a ranked opponent.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Greg Beals put together a demanding schedule for Ball State University this year, hoping to prepare them for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.But playing top-15 teams can wear on a team's emotions as the losses mount. Beals saw that happen after the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at No. 10 University of Louisville. Ball State had just dropped its third straight game, and needed something to get it back on track before Mid-American Conference play begins this weekend."Some of these games, they've been tough on us," Beals said. "I'm trying to help our guys work their way through that. I just feel like our guys haven't leaned on each other, and what I said is ‘I think we need to start loving each other a little bit better, be behind each other and understand that all 30 of us are in this together.'"Ball State pulled together in the second game Saturday and won 5-1. The victory was Ball State's second on the road against a ranked team this year. Reliever Perci Garner threw four innings for the victory and said the support was much better in the second game."After going 0-2 to start [the series], we were kind of down," the sophomore said. "Coach talked about loving each other. We really did that in the second game and it helped."Ball State (6-13) could use some love after completing their last nonconference series of the year. According to boydsworld.com, the Cardinals have played the 27th hardest schedule in the country. They are 2-6 against the top-15 teams of University of Arkansas, Coastal Carolina University and Louisville.Beals said its part of his job to keep the team together through the tough parts of the season."Sometimes the pressure starts getting to you when you're not winning," he said. "I felt like we needed to get tighter knit as a team and get behind each other."Saturday's victory was a team effort. Starting pitcher Kolbrin Vitek threw four scoreless innings before he was removed. Garner said he wanted to keep going what Vitek started."I just wanted to come out and throw strikes," Garner said. "[Vitek] did a good job of that. Its easy when you've got the lead to come in and just keep it going well."Ball State also got production from all areas of its lineup. With Vitek on the mound and third baseman Stephen Claypool out with an injury, utility infielders Tim Issler and Mitch Widau both started the game and drove in the first two runs of the game."Both of them are playing in roles, they're not everyday roles but they're going to have their opportunities," Beals said. "Both those guys did a great job of taking advantage of that opportunity today."With a complete effort, Ball State became just the second team to defeat Louisville, and the first to do it at Jim Patterson Stadium. No. 22 University of Mississippi also beat Louisville.With only Tuesday's game at the University of Notre Dame between Ball State and the start of the MAC season, Garner said Saturday's victory gives it confidence at an important time."It creates a lot of momentum," he said. "We enjoyed this part of our schedule, but we're ready to play the MAC and get a championship."
An early Ball State University lead on the road at No. 10 University of Louisville evaporated as the hosts scored four times in the fourth and fifth inning.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second time this season, Ball State University upset a ranked opponent.Ball State defeated No. 10 University of Louisville 5-1 in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. Reliever Perci Garner (1-0) threw four innings, allowing one run for the victory. Louisville starter Tony Zych (1-1) took the loss.Ball State (6-13) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on four two-out singles. Third baseman Tim Issler and second baseman Mitch Widau drove in a run each from the eighth and ninth spot in the lineup.Ball State added a run in the third and fifth inning before Louisville (17-2) got on the scoreboard. Ball State added an insurance run in the seventh, and Garner and Seth Hobbs combined to close out the game.Kolbrin Vitek started the game for Ball State and threw four shutout innings before being removed. He allowed three hits and struck out four. Garner added six strikeouts, but walked four.The loss was just Louisville's second of the year. The University of Mississippi, ranked No. 22, is the only other team to beat Louisville.Ball State is 2-6 against ranked opponents this year. It upset then-No. 15 University of Arkansas on Feb. 20. For more on Saturday's doubleheader read Sunday's edition of The Ball State Daily News.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There would be no messing around from No. 10 University of Louisville in Game One of Saturday afternoon's doubleheader with Ball State University.After a slow start in Friday's series opener, Louisville (17-1) started quickly against starter Cal Bowling (0-3) and defeated Ball State 8-3. The hosts scored five unearned runs in the second inning, and never looked back.Right fielder Stewart Ijames started the second inning with a single, and Ball State (5-13) then committed back-to-back errors. Shortstop T.J. Baumet booted a double-play ball and Bowling couldn't field a sacrifice attempt. Bowling got two outs, but shortstop Adam Duvall hit a two-run double. Second baseman Ryan Wright brought in the final two runs of the inning with a home run.Ball State scored their first run in the fourth inning with a two-out RBI single from designated hitter Nathan Koontz. Louisville starting pitcher Dean Kiekhefer (2-1) didn't run into trouble the rest of the way. The left-hander threw seven innings, allowing one run on six hits. Center fielder Cody Elliott returned from a back injury for Ball State. The sophomore was injured a week ago against the University of Michigan, and returned with a 2-for-4 performance. While Elliott returned to the lineup, third baseman Stephen Claypool did not play. The freshman hurt his ankle rounding second base on Friday.The second game of the doubleheader will begin at 4:15 p.m. Continue to check bsudailynews.com and twitter for updates from the action.
Enduring back-to-back 3-2 losses during Spring Break at then-No. 12 Coastal Carolina University was difficult for Ball State University to swallow.But after the second loss to the Chanticleers, coach Greg Beals reminded the Cardinals why they play some of the best teams in the country."After the [Coastal Carolina] game, coach said ‘This is going to prepare us in the long run for MAC play,'" reliever Perci Garner said. Ball State will face another highly-ranked opponent this weekend when it travels to No. 10 University of Louisville (15-1). Ball State (5-11) has already played five games on the road against opponents ranked in the top 15. It is 1-4 in those games, scoring a 5-2 upset of the University of Arkansas on Feb. 20. The Cardinals had their chance to add at least another victory against a ranked opponent against the Chanticleers, but were unable to find a way to win either game. Left fielder Kory Benbow said the difference was defense."We didn't have an error all weekend," the senior said. "That's the big thing, against teams like that you're not getting away with one or two errors a game. You've got to play from the first pitch to the last pitch. Any little mistake we make, they're more likely to take advantage of than any MAC school."The three-game series at Louisville is Ball State's last non-conference series of the season. It will start the Mid-American Conference season next weekend at Ohio University."It's going to be a great experience playing Louisville," Beals said. "On paper, they might be the best team we play all year. All this experience against this competition is going to serve us well once we get into the Mid-American Conference."With the more important part of the season coming up, Beals is not taking any injury risks this weekend. Starting pitcher Morgan Coombs will not play this weekend due to elbow tendinitis. "We're going to nurse Morgan a little bit this weekend," Beals said. "I think he could pitch if we absolutely needed him to, but we're going to rest him. If he's ready to go on Friday at Ohio, he'll be the Friday starter."But Ball State is still thinking big. Louisville started the year on a 14-game winning streak, before losing its only game of the season last Saturday at No. 20 University of Mississippi. Benbow said Ball State has plenty of confidence going into the series."I think it'd be real good for us to go down and take two out of three," he said. "I think everyone on the team believes we can do it and I think everyone is going to go in with that attitude."Louisville will be without center fielder Josh Richmond and first baseman Andrew Clark. The pair has missed a combined 17 games with injuries.However, the hosts will still have plenty of firepower. All-American Phil Wunderlich leads the team with 21 RBI and is tied for the team lead with six home runs. Second baseman Adam Duvall also has six home runs and leads the team with a .413 average."They're going to be a great team," Beals said. "Coach McDonald does a great job down there and I have a lot of respect for what they're doing."Ball State has not travelled south to Louisville for a weekend series since 2006, but the two teams have played midweek games the last three years. Ball State lost 5-4 in 12 innings last year. Benbow said the challenge of facing a team like Louisville is much different in a weekend series than in a midweek game."The thing I'm interested in seeing, is how their front-line pitchers are as opposed to their midweek pitching," Benbow said. "I think that's going to be the biggest difference."Garner said having a good weekend in Louisville would be a big boost before heading to Ohio next week."I think if we could get something this weekend it would mean a lot for our confidence," he said. "I look at confidence as being the key to college sports."Ball State at Louisville at Jim Patterson StadiumGame No. 17First pitch: 3 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Brad Piatt (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. RHP Thomas Royse (3-0, 0.74)Weather: 66 degrees, sunny, southwest nine mphGame No. 18First pitch: 1 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Cal Bowling (0-2, 6.25) vs. LHP Dean Kiekhefer (1-1, 4.95)Weather: 62 degrees, cloudy, SSW 10 mphGame No. 19First pitch: 1 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Kolbrin Vitek (0-2, 5.71) vs. RHP Tony Zych (1-0, 9.64)Weather: 51 degrees, showers, SSW 10 mph
Hitting sixth in the Ball State University lineup has its advantages, and left fielder Kory Benbow has done his best to take advantage of them.
With the most arduous part of Ball State University's schedule behind it, coach Greg Beals wants to turn the focus to doing the little things better.The Cardinals are 5-11, though have played tough competition in the first month of the season. Over Spring Break they played nine games in 10 days, including a pair of 3-2 losses at No. 12 Coastal Carolina University and lost 7-4 to the College of Charleston, a likely NCAA Tournament team. But Beals and the rest of the team want to turn the narrow defeats into victories, like the 5-2 upset of No. 14 University of Arkansas on the first weekend of the season."We showed signs of playing good baseball against Coastal Carolina," Beals said. "We played solid. Unfortunately we didn't find a way to win. We're playing tough competition, but we're good enough to be competitive. We need to find ways to win."The Cardinals have four games against more quality competition before the Mid-American Conference season begins March 26. Ball State will travel to No. 10 University of Louisville this weekend for a three-game series and visit the University of Notre Dame next Tuesday before attempting to live up to their billing as MAC favorites.Second baseman Kolbrin Vitek said the Cardinals must improve their defense to achieve their goals."Our defense is the biggest thing, making plays every chance you get," the All-American said. Ball State has committed 27 errors this year, leading to 21 unearned runs. Some of the errors have been very costly, especially in losses to Coastal Carolina and the University of Michigan. The Cardinals didn't allow an earned run to the Chanticleers all game on March 7, but still lost 3-2. Ball State made five errors in that loss. Against the Wolverines, the Cardinals tied the game at eight in the top of the sixth inning, only to commit two errors in the bottom of the inning and give up four runs. Ball State went on to lose 12-8 Friday."We need to pay attention to detail a little better," Beals said. "When we're doing all the little things well, I think we'll be OK."Vitek said the team played well in all aspects of the game throughout Spring Break, but needs to be putting together complete games by the time MAC games begin."Now we need to bring everything together and get the kinks worked out," Vitek said. "We need to get all the little things worked out."
It looked like Ball State University's offense was ready to come into its own.
CLEVELAND— Ohio University continued its hot streak Friday night, upsetting archrival Miami University 54-42 to reach the championship game.Ninth-seeded Ohio began their tournament run with a comeback win at Ball State University on Sunday. Now, the Bobcats are the lowest-seeded team to reach the MAC Tournament Championship Game since 2000. In the tournament's first year in Cleveland, No. 9 Miami lost to Ball State 61-58. Ohio has been led by shooting guard Armon Bassett, who scored a game-high 28 Friday. He broke the tournament record for points, reaching 91 in three games. The previous record was 89 points, held by former Eastern Michigan University guard Earl Boykins. "This is really just a continuation of what I've been trying to do all year," Bassett said. "I'm trying to turn it up a couple notches because of where we are and do whatever it takes to get to The Dance."Bassett and the Bobcats are just a win away from their first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years. Forward DeVaughn Washington is happy they will get to play the defending-champion University of Akron. The Zips advanced in the tournament with a 66-64 win against Western Michigan University."We're trying to win our first championship in a few years and to be the champ, you should have to beat the champ," the junior said. "Obviously they're a good team, but if we execute the way we're capable of, I think we have a shot."The championship game will be played Saturday at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.Kool aid: In the final game of David Kool's career, he scored 39 points in the arena LeBron James calls home, and drew comparisons from Cleveland media to the King himself.But it wasn't enough for Western Michigan, and the last Mid-American Conference West Division team was knocked out of the tournament by Akron. The end of his college career left Kool crying through the postgame press conference. Coach Steve Hawkins said Kool's emotional display didn't compare to the waterworks of the locker room.Kool said he was honored to play at Western Michigan."With our fans up there supporting us, it was all I could ask for and more," he said. "It's something I will cherish in my heart forever."Kool's 39 points are the third most in MAC Tournament history, behind Ron Harper's 45 in 1985 and Carlos Medlock's 42 Thursday.Déjà vu: Forward Chris McKnight scored the game-winning points for Akron on a tip-in with 6.6 seconds left. After the game, he said it felt like the shot he missed at Ball State on Feb. 6.With the Cardinals and Zips tied at 60, McKnight missed a game-winner in the final 30 seconds in Muncie.Coach Keith Dambrot remembered the play well."I said to him in the locker room, ‘Didn't you have one of those you missed earlier this year?'" Dambrot said.Then, as Kool raced up the floor for one final shot, McKnight said his mind went back to the 2007 MAC Tournament Championship Game when Akron was upset by Miami. With 0.6 seconds left on the clock Doug Penno banked in a desperation 3-pointer for the conference title.Kool didn't have Penno's luck however, as his shot clanged off the rim.East dominance: Western Michigan's loss means the tournament final will once again pit two teams from the East Division.The University of Toledo is the last team from the West to reach the MAC Tournament Championship game. Toledo lost 71-66 to Kent State University. A West Division team has not won the MAC since 2004 when the Broncos beat the Golden Flashes 77-66.High expectations: This is the fourth consecutive year that Akron reached the MAC Tournament Championship Game. The Zips won last year's tournament title, after losing the first three. McKnight said he expected another trip to the finals after deep tournament runs throughout his career."Ever since I've been here, we've done that," the senior said. "I wouldn't settle for anything less."
A nine-run sixth inning catapulted Ball State University to a 14-5 victory against Lipscomb University in the Caravelle Resort Classic at Myrtle Beach, S.C.The Cardinals (5-10) sent 12 batters to the plate in the sixth to retake the lead for good from Bison (5-10). Reliever Scott Brothers, Jr. (1-0) was the beneficiary of the support, earning his first victory of the year. Starting pitcher Davey Hackett (1-2) allowed nine runs on 12 hits to take the loss.Three Cardinals had two RBI in the sixth inning, including third baseman Stephen Claypool whose double gave them a 6-5 lead.Ball State scored the first four runs of the game, but starting pitcher Morgan Coombs was unable to hold the lead. First baseman Ryan Wilkins tied the game in the fifth inning with a grand slam off Coombs. The Bison took the lead on a passed ball in the top of the sixth.But Brothers contained Lipscomb for the rest of the game. The senior threw four shutout innings, allowing only five hits. Claypool and second baseman Kolbrin Vitek both went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Left fielder Kory Benbow added his third home run of the year, driving in two runs.
Fighting out of an eight-run hole after the first three innings, Ball State University had nothing left in the tank to respond to a late push by the University of Michigan.The Wolverines scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for a 12-8 victory Friday at Myrtle Beach, S.C. in the Caravelle Resort Classic. Relievers Michael Sandman (0-1) and Heath Riley allowed the final four runs, and Sandman took the loss. Brandon Sinnery (1-0) pitched the final four scoreless innings for the Wolverines, earning the victory.Michigan jumped on starting pitcher Cal Bowling for nine hits and eight runs in 3 1/3 innings. Only four of the runs were earned. The Cardinals committed four errors in the game, leading to seven unearned runs.Ball State got back into the game with six runs in the fifth inning. The Cardinals batted around, and second baseman Kolbrin Vitek had a two-run single. After knocking out starting pitcher Matt Miller, the Cardinals scored two runs in the sixth to tie the game against reliever Matt Gerbe. Left fielder Kory Benbow drove in Vitek and right fielder Ryan Chenoweth with a two-RBI single.Michigan wasted little time in retaking the lead. The Wolverines loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and back-to-back errors allowed them to score four runs. Neither team could scratch out a run in the final three innings, though Ball State stranded five runners in that span.Vitek led the Cardinals offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Third baseman Stephen Claypool also had three hits and one RBI.The Cardinals have lost four in a row to Big Ten schools, after starting last year 3-0 against the conference. Ball State will get another shot at the Big Ten on Sunday against the University of Illinois.
For the third consecutive day Ball State University was unable to shut the door at the end of the game, but the Cardinals came back for the win Tuesday night.Ball State (4-8) defeated the University of North Carolina-Wilmington 7-6 in 11 innings. The previous two days against No. 12 Coastal Carolina University, Ball State held leads late in the game, but ended up with a pair of losses.Shortstop T.J. Baumet made sure that wouldn't happen against the Seahawks, driving in center fielder Wes Winkle for the winning run. Closer Aaron Hammons finished the game to earn his first save of the year, after battling injury throughout the first three weeks.The Cardinals took a 6-2 lead in the ninth inning, but couldn't hold it. Reliever Seth Hobbs blew his second save of the year, but was able to keep the game tied in extra innings. Hobbs became the pitcher of record after Baumet's RBI and earned his second win of the year as well.Baumet went 3-for-5 to lead Ball State. The only other Cardinal with multiple hits in the game was second baseman Mitch Widau, who had two.
Unable to recover from a first-inning deficit, Ball State University lost 7-4 to the College of Charleston on Thursday night in Mount Pleasant, S.C.The Cougars (11-3) a quick 2-0 lead against the Cardinals (4-9) and never relinquished their lead. Starting pitcher Derek Grabner (0-1) took the loss for Ball State after giving up five runs in three innings. Matt Pegler (1-0) earned the victory for Charleston. Ball State scored its first runs in the fifth inning. Kory Benbow drove in the Cardinals' first run with a triple and Stephen Claypool and T.J. Baumet also added RBI. Benbow scored his second run of the game in the seventh inning to cut the gap to 5-4, but Ball State could get no closer. The Patriots added two more runs in the bottom of the inning against reliever Jon Cisna.Benbow went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Blake Beemer also had two hits for the Cardinals, going 2-for-3 with a run. The game completes a stretch of six consecutive games for Ball State on their Spring Break trip. The Cardinals will take Thursday off before beginning the Caravelle Resort Classic against the University of Michigan on Friday.