Ball State University slugged away any lingering bad feelings from its back-to-back losses with a 15-2 victory Wednesday against Indiana Tech.
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In Ball State University's fourth loss to a Big Ten team this season, its defense was to blame.Ball State lost 10-5 at Purdue University on Tuesday despite allowing just two earned runs. The Cardinals (13-18) committed three errors, two coming in the Boilermakers' seven-run fourth inning."We've got to make sure we're focused and in more of a ready state of mind on defense," coach Greg Beals said. "Some of our errors are mental lapses."Reliever Seth Hobbs (2-1) took the loss after allowing the seven-run inning. Boilermaker starter Pat Gannon (3-1) picked up the victory.Ball State is 0-4 against the Big Ten this year and has made eight errors in the games. Defense has been a sore point before this year and the Cardinals rank in the middle of the Mid-American Conference with a .958 fielding percentage.Shortstop T.J. Baumet, who made his 16th error of the year Tuesday, said Ball State needs to make the easy plays."We need to make the routine plays," he said. "If we make amazing plays that's just extra."Beals said Purdue made the routine plays against Ball State but also flashed enough leather to make the difference."They made all the plays on defense, especially at the shortstop position," Beals said. "The difference in today's game was defense."The game was Baumet's first after missing the final two games of the weekend at Bowling Green State University. The junior was hit in the hand by a pitch in Friday's victory.Tuesday, he went 3-for-5 with an RBI. He said he changed his grip on the bat because of the injury."I tried to put a couple good swings on the ball," he said.All-American Kolbrin Vitek hit his ninth home run of the year in the first inning, giving Ball State an early lead. But Purdue tied the game in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs off Brad Piatt. The senior has fallen out of the weekend rotation and is trying to work his way back from a poor beginning.Beals said there were some positives from Piatt's first start in three weeks."We've been working on some things as far as his pitch sequence so we can find the right niche for him to be successful," Beals said. "His ability to use the fastball and be a bit more strategic when he uses it."Tuesday's loss makes today's home game against NAIA member Indiana Tech more meaningful. Beals said it will help provide the team with momentum going into its weekend series against the University at Buffalo."It's a home game, and it's important to build some confidence to build into the weekend series," Beals said.
Still looking for its first victory against a Big Ten team this year, Ball State University will travel to West Lafayette on Tuesday to take on Purdue University.Ball State is 0-3 against the Big Ten, including its first loss to Indiana University since 1998. The Boilermakers (15-14) have won three of its last four games against the Cardinals (13-17) and coach Greg Beals will be trying to change that."We'll run the normal lineup out Tuesday," he said. "We hope to keep improving the offense, and we still have time to figure it out."Ball State's offense didn't have any problems last weekend at Bowling Green State University. The Cardinals won the series, scoring 44 runs in the first two games of the weekend.Taking the hill for Ball State will be right-hander Brad Piatt. The senior has not pitched well this season and has a 9.64 ERA in seven appearances. He pitched on Opening Day for Ball State at then-No. 15 University of Arkansas, but has since fallen out of the rotation.Piatt threw two shutout innings during Ball State's 32-10 victory Saturday, his first scoreless outing of the year.The Cardinals will likely need their offense to step up Tuesday like they have during the Mid-American Conference season. First baseman Ian Nielsen, one of the key pieces of Ball State's attack, came alive against Bowling Green. He hit .467 with 11 RBIs against the Falcons.A year ago, Nielsen might have had some extra motivation for Tuesday's game, fueled by playing his brother. But Eric, a former catcher at Purdue, graduated last year, making this just another game for the Nielsen family."We need to focus on being better as a team," he said. "It's not anything I put more in to."Ball State hopes to have shortstop T.J. Baumet back in its lineup after he missed the final two games at Bowling Green. The junior was hit in the hand Friday and was replaced in the lineup by Mitch Widau.Beals said Sunday he didn't think Baumet's injury was serious. Ball State at PurdueGame No. 31Lambert FieldFirst pitch: 4 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Brad Piatt (0-3, 9.64 ERA) vs. LHP Pat Gannon (2-1, 5.40)Weather: 79 degrees, partly cloudy, WNW 6 mph
With a score more befitting a football field than a baseball diamond, Ball State University clinched its third straight Mid-American Conference series victory to start the season Saturday.Ball State defeated Bowling Green State University 32-10 Saturday but lost the series finale Sunday. Despite a 9-3 loss that cost the Cardinals (13-17, 7-2) their second conference sweep in as many weekends, they were happy with their results."When we got on the bus to Bowling Green on Thursday night, the goal was to win the series," coach Greg Beals said. "We played extremely well Friday and Saturday. We swung the bat like we haven't swung this year."The Cardinals scored 44 runs in the first two games of the series and set school records in runs, hits, at bats and RBIs on Saturday. The previous runs record was 31, which had been done twice in Ball State history, most recently in 2006.First baseman Ian Nielsen led Ball State's offense Saturday, going 5-for-7 with eight RBIs and two home runs. A Freshman All-American last season, Nielsen had not been hitting at that level this year. But before the game, he told Beals he had his swing figured out."He continues to work hard on his swing," Beals said. "It worked for him."Nielsen said he was working on staying on the ball longer in the batting cage before the game."This year hasn't been as productive as last year," he said. "I'm just trying to help the team however I can."Nielsen went 1-for-3 and drove in a run Sunday. He is hitting .317, his best mark since Spring Break.The Cardinals managed their offensive explosion without leadoff hitter T.J. Baumet. The shortstop was hit in the hand Friday and was unavaliable for the rest of the weekend. Beals said Baumet is expected to return to the lineup soon.Utility infielder Mitch Widau filled in for Baumet, continuing his surprising season. The sophomore collected four hits during the weekend to extend his hitting streak to seven games."Everytime he gets challenged to do something for us, he does it and does it well," Beals said. "His role keeps growing."Ball State's 9-3 loss Sunday and victories by Central Michigan University and the University of Toledo dropped the Cardinals to third place in the MAC West. Although out of first place, the Cardinals have won their first three MAC series for the first time since 2005.Nielsen said the series victory shows Ball State is still playing well. "We're still in a good position in the MAC," he said. "We're really starting to believe in ourselves and each weekend reinforces that."
The offensive explosion continued for Ball State University on Saturday with a record-breaking performance.Ball State defeated Bowling Green State University 32-10, setting the school record for most runs, hits (29) and at bats (58) in a game. The previous runs record was 31, which the Cardinals (13-16, 7-1) had done twice, most recently in 2006. First baseman Ian Nielsen led the team with eight RBIs, two short of the Cardinals' record. The sophomore went 5-for-7 with two home runs. He was one of a few starters to play the entire game, but only did so because his backup, Blake Beemer, started as designated hitter.Third baseman Stephen Claypool stayed hot with a 4-for-6 day. The freshman is 12-for-21 with 11 RBIs in the last five games.15 of Ball State's 16 batters scored at least on run or had an RBI. The only Cardinal who recorded a plate appearance without producing a run was reliever Brad Piatt, who struck out in the ninth.Starting pitcher Cal Bowling (2-3) earned the victory, allowing four runs in six innings. The Falcons scored six runs in the ninth inning off reliever Justin Warrington.Ball State has scored 44 runs in two victories at Bowling Green (8-17, 2-6). The Cardinals have won their first three Mid-American Conference series and are on a six-game conference winning streak. The Cardinals will attempt to finish the sweep against the preseason MAC East favorites Sunday at 1 p.m.
A small hiccup at Indiana University on Tuesday couldn't slow Ball State University down in the Mid-American Conference.Ball State (12-16) opened a three-game series at Bowling Green State University with a 12-6 victory Friday. The Cardinals beat reigning MAC Pitcher of the Year Brennan Smith (1-4) with a big offensive day. They had 18 hits and scored 12 runs, despite stranding 17 runners.Starting pitcher Perci Garner (4-0) earned the victory to remain undefeated this year.Ball State gave Garner support early in the game putting a run on the board in each of the first two innings, before breaking the game open in the third and fourth. The Cardinals scored seven times in those innings, sending 16 batters to the plate against Smith and reliever Nick Burns.After putting four runs on the board in the third inning, Ball State opened the fourth with a double, triple and home run from the heart of its lineup. First baseman Ian Nielsen delivered the long ball, his second of the year.Working with a 9-2 lead after the fourth inning, the Cardinals cruised to their fifth straight MAC win. Garner threw six innings, allowing two runs and striking out five. Relievers Scott Brothers, Jon Cisna and Heath Riley finished the game, allowing coach Greg Beals to keep his top bullpen arms fresh for the rest of the weekend.Ball State was led offensively by catcher Zach Dygert and third baseman Stephen Claypool, who both finished one hit shy of the cycle. Dygert went 4-for-4 with a walk before being lifted in the seventh inning. He had two RBIs and needed a home run to complete the cycle.Claypool went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and fell a triple short of the cycle. He also walked twice.
The meeting of the preseason favorites in each of the Mid-American Conference's divisions will take on an unexpected feeling this weekend when Ball State University visits Bowling Green State University.The Falcons (8-15-1, 2-4) will be looking to turn around their disappointing season against the Cardinals (11-16, 5-1) when the three-game series begins today at 3 p.m. It's still early in the season, but coach Greg Beals expects to find Bowling Green in a must-win mind set after losing its first two Mid-American Conference series of the year."They're playing at home, they're at a time of the season where they probably feel like ‘We need to make a move,'" he said. "It's going to be a very important series for them. They're going to come out with their guns loaded and we've got to make sure we're ready to answer."Reliever Derek Grabner said the Cardinals can't take the Falcons lightly this weekend."With a struggling team, the best thing to do is to hit them while they're down," the junior said. Ball State took care of business last weekend against Miami University, earning its first sweep of the year. At Bowling Green, Ball State will look to start the MAC season with three straight series victories for the first time since 2005.Beals said a key to the Cardinals' success will be if their starting pitchers can throw breaking balls for strikes. The Falcons don't have any overpowering hitters; instead they are mostly slap hitters."The thing that concerns me most about their offense is their style of hitting as a team," he said. "If [Perci] Garner and [Cal] Bowling pitch the way they did against Miami, they'll be fine."Bowling Green has some talented pitchers of their own. Reigning MAC Pitcher of the Year Brennan Smith will start Friday for the Falcons. Last year, the Falcons swept the series and Smith allowed just one run in eight innings against the Cardinals.This year, Smith has struggled to a 1-3 record with a 6.96 ERA this year, but Beals praised the junior."He'll be the best conference starter we've seen," Beals said. "He's going to be throwing the ball a little bit harder this year, but he's also walked more guys this year. He's not going to be any different than we've seen in [non-conference play]."Ball State is tied for first in the MAC West with the University of Toledo and Central Michigan University. Grabner said they want to keep the heat on their competition with another big weekend after a disappointing loss to Indiana University on Tuesday."Practice [Wednesday] was very focused on getting back to what we need to do," Grabner said. "Our goal is to take three games from Bowling Green this weekend. The loss to Indiana, while disappointing, can only affect us if we allow it to."Ball State at Bowling Green at Steller FieldGame No. 28First pitch: 3 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Perci Garner (3-0, 4.34 ERA) vs. RHP Brennan Smith (1-3, 6.96)Weather: 48 degrees, mostly cloudy, wind west 18 mphGame No. 29First pitch: 1 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Cal Bowling (1-3, 5.12) vs. RHP Michael Frank (1-1, 4.41)Weather: 60 degrees, sunny, SSW 15 mphGame No. 30First pitch: 1 p.m.Pitching matchup: RHP Kolbrin Vitek (1-2, 3.55) vs. RHP Kevin Leady (3-1, 4.34)Weather: 64 degrees, partly cloudy, northwest 7 mph
The transition from college baseball to the minor leagues is a difficult one, as two former Ball State University standouts learned last year.
A gusty Tuesday afternoon in Bloomington produced eight home runs in Ball State University's 12-6 loss to Indiana University.
There's a little more riding on Ball State University's game Tuesday at Indiana University than the average midweek college baseball game.There's the Cardinals' current four-game winning streak, a five-game winning streak dating back to 1998 against the Hoosiers and the chance to beat another team that reached the NCAA Tournament last year. Oh yeah, and there are the normal feelings that get stirred up anytime Ball State takes on its big brother from Bloomington."We're going to play IU and there aren't many pep talks needed," coach Greg Beals said. "Our guys will be ready."Beals is committed to giving the game at Indiana (13-13) the extra attention he feels it merits. Normally, the Cardinals (11-15) use midweek games as a chance to experiment and give his regulars a bit of a break. "We're going to use that bullpen to eat up some innings for us," Beals said. "We're going have a little bit of a mixed lineup in there, but we're going to go after that game, and try to keep that winning streak alive."Ball State echoed its coach's stance Sunday after completing a three-game sweep of Mid-American Conference rival Miami University. The need to keep their momentum going full-steam ahead remained a common theme."We've got to come ready to play and get another win," third baseman Stephen Claypool said. Ball State will turn to sophomore Cody Elliott for Tuesday's start. Elliott is the Cardinals' regular center fielder, but has appeared in four games as a reliever. He has not pitched since March 23 at the University of Notre Dame, but has thrown five consecutive scoreless innings.With last year's heroes gone, both teams will need new players to step up. Former Ball State center fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a walk off home run to defeat the Hoosiers 5-4 last year, but will be reporting to his minor league assignment with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.Meanwhile, Indiana is without All-American catcher Josh Phegley who reached base four times last year. Now he is in the minors with the Chicago White Sox.Taking Pegley's place in the Hoosier lineup has been first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and left fielder Alex Dickerson. Sabourin is hitting .462 to lead Indiana, while Dickerson isn't far behind with a .446 average. Dickerson also has 11 home runs.Indiana scored 26 runs Sunday as they steamrolled the University of Michigan and is hitting .326 as team. For Ball State, however, the emphasis will continue to be on its winning streak."It's a huge thing to keep the momentum going," reliever Derek Grabner said. "It's like in a baseball game, you score a run and then you put up a zero."
Middle relief is one of the thankless roles in baseball.There's no neat and tidy stat that truly quantifies what a good middle reliever does for his team.This weekend, Ball State University saw what a quality performance in that role can mean.Left-hander Derek Grabner pitched in all three of Ball State's victories against Miami University, allowing two hits and no runs in 3 1/3 innings."He's a very good complement between our starting pitching and our bullpen," coach Greg Beals said.It wasn't long ago that it looked like Grabner might have pitched himself out of a job. In his first three appearances, the junior college transfer allowed 12 runs in four innings. He walked four and allowed 10 hits. By the time it was all done, his ERA was 24.75."What's changed is more confidence," he said. "You come in with a team and it's a little shaky. You want to do what you know you can and need to do."Now Grabner is on a 7 2/3 scoreless-innings streak and picked up his first win Sunday. Grabner will take the win even if he feels like he might not deserve it."Coming in there was no thought in my mind looking at the win," Grabner said. "I knew Kolbrin [Vitek] threw a good game so far and got into a tough spot. My only focus was to get him out of the jam. To come in with 4 2/3 already done and just throw 1/3 of an inning and get a win, it's baseball. You've just got to go in and do your job."Flight number one: Third baseman Stephen Claypool hit his first career home run Saturday off RedHawks starter Brooks Fiala.Claypool picked a good time for his first collegiate round-tripper, as Ball State had surrendered the lead the previous inning."It was the first one of my career, so it was definitely pretty cool," Claypool said.The freshman went 5-for-9 this weekend and is hitting .325 for the year. After a somewhat sluggish start that saw his average dip to .205 during Spring Break, Claypool seems to have figured out the college game."He was recruited because he's a good hitter," Beals said. "I think more than anything he's just getting comfertable. He's at about 87 plate apperances, and right around 100 at bats, good hitters in their freshman year start to settle in a little bit, start hitting not like freshmen anymore."Claypool hit another home run Sunday, sparking a three-homer inning by Ball State.Treading lightly: Vitek had the attention of the Mid-American Conference a long time ago, but his recent national player of the week award was a good reminder to his talent.Miami looked determined to make sure the All-American second baseman didn't win himself another accolade this weekend.Vitek was walked four times in the series, three on Sunday. He was twice given an intentional pass. The RedHawks strategy was never more evident than Sunday when Mac Thoreson started the game with seven consecutive strikes, only to walk Vitek on five pitches.When Vitek did get a pitch to hit, he usually did something with it. The junior went 5-for-10 with seven RBIs and a home run in the series.Vitek, part II: Not only did Sunday give Ball State fans a glimpse of what Vitek will likely face the rest of the year, it revealed a lot about what major league teams think about his future.With Vitek starting the game on the mound, there were no scouts in attendance for the series finale. For Friday's game, however, almost every MLB team was represented at Ball Diamond. While Sunday's sparse attendance may have had something to do with Easter, it wouldn't have stopped any club that was thinking about Vitek as a pitcher. The pitcher versus hitter discussion from last year seems to be settled.
Confident and comfortably situated in Mid-American Conference play, Ball State University is rolling.Ball State completed a three-game sweep of Miami University on Sunday with a 17-8 victory. The Cardinals (11-15, 5-1) have won both MAC series this year and are on a four-game winning streak.Coach Greg Beals couldn't have asked for a better start to its home schedule."More than anything, we're getting ourselves on a little bit of a winning streak," Beals said. "After our tough [nonconference], it's good to prove to ourselves we're still a good team and we're still capable of having a great season."Ball State might have needed a little reminder after going 6-14 before beginning conference play last weekend at Ohio University. The Cardinals were challenging themselves during the start to their schedule, but playing top-15 teams can have adverse affects on a team's psyche.Now back in the familiar setting of Ball Diamond and playing schools from its own conference, Ball State is appreciating what it went through."We've faced a lot of tough pitchers because we've faced a lot of tough opponents," third baseman Stephen Claypool said. "I think it prepared us pretty well for MAC pitchers."In the sweep of the RedHawks (11-15), the Cardinals scored 34 runs, including a season-high 17 Sunday.In all three games, Ball State used a big inning to take control. Twice the combination of Kolbrin Vitek and Zach Dygert came through with key RBIs in the games' deciding moments.But Sunday, the big inning was less characteristic of the star-studded Cardinals' offense. Ball State put seven runs on the board in the fifth inning using only two hits, though Vitek did have a two-RBI single.Miami used five pitchers in the inning but never found one who could control his pitches. The RedHawks walked six Cardinals and hit two batters in the protracted inning. "Their pitching helped us out quite a bit [Sunday]," Beals said.Though Ball State allowed 18 runs to Miami, it had better pitching than the scores would indicate. In both Saturday and Sunday's game, the RedHawks tacked on runs with the game already well out of hand.Ball State's starters combined to go 2-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 3.57 ERA.Now that the Cardinals have found some success, they are eager to keep it going."The way the year started off, [the sweep] is just a huge confidence booster," pitcher Derek Grabner said. "We can just take this and keep on rolling once we go [further] into the MAC."
Another big inning propelled Ball State University to an 11-7 victory against Miami University and its second consecutive series win.The Cardinals (10-15) scored six in the fourth inning and coasted to their third-straight victory. Starting pitcher Cal Bowling (1-3) took advantage of the big inning for his first win of the season. RedHawks starter Brooks Fiala (2-2) took the loss.Third baseman Stephen Claypool started the fourth with a double. Fiala retired center fielder Cody Elliott, but the next seven Cardinals reached base. Second baseman Kolbrin Vitek and catcher Zach Dygert provided the big blows of the inning. Vitek drove in two runs with a Texas leaguer to right field and Dygert followed with a three-run home run off reliever Matt Rosinski. In all, Miami needed three pitchers to get through the inning. After the teams combined for 11 runs and three home runs in the first four innings, the game calmed down in the middle innings. Bowling shut down the RedHawks, allowing three runs on four hits. The sophomore threw a career-high seven innings, striking out four. With the Cardinals cruising to victory in the eighth, a sudden downpour forced a short rain delay. Ball State tarped the field and the delay lasted only 21 minutes. When the teams came back from the delay, the offense returned as well. Vitek hit a two-run home run immediately after the delay to give Ball State an 11-3 lead. The RedHawks batted around in the ninth against junior Heath Riley, scoring four runs. Designated hitter Jordan Jankowski hit his second two-run home run of the day, and catcher Adam Weisenburger drove in a pair of runs with a single. The game's start was delayed 2 ½ hours because of rain.
Rain has delayed the start to Saturday's game between Ball State University and Miami University.The game was originally scheduled to be played at 1 p.m., but now is slated for 4:30 p.m.Follow The Ball State Daily News sports on Twitter or check back at bsudailynews.com for more updates.
A four-run fifth inning propelled Ball State University to a 6-3 victory in its home opener Friday against Miami University.The Cardinals (9-15) took advantage of an error on shortstop Ryan Kaup in the inning. The error allowed Ball State to bring Kolbrin Vitek and Zach Dygert to the plate. The third and fourth hitters in the Ball State lineup came through with a double and a home run.Starting pitcher Perci Garner (3-0) threw six innings, allowing three runs for the victory. Closer Aaron Hammons pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.The RedHawks (11-13) got a quick start to the game when second baseman Jon Edgington led off the game with a home run. The Cardinals retook the lead in the bottom of the inning with RBIs from first baseman Ian Nielsen and left fielder Kory Benbow.While Miami would tie the game with a solo home run from Ryan Curl, the four-run inning was all the help Garner would need. He struck out six in the longest outing of his career.Relievers Derek Grabner, Seth Hobbs and Hammons each pitched one shutout inning.Vitek was the only Cardinal with multiple hits. The All-American went 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. He was also intentionally walked. Ball State has won back-to-back games for the first time this season. It will look to win its second consecutive series today at 1 p.m. with Cal Bowling on the hill.
The road back to Ball Baseball Diamond has been a long one for Ball State University.Since the season began Feb. 19, the Cardinals (8-15) have played all 23 games on the road, visiting teams in seven states. So the team is understandably excited about its home opener Friday at 3 p.m. against Miami University (11-12)."It's going to be fun to get back out here," outfielder Kory Benbow said. "You can tell the excitement level is up a little bit, not having to worry about travelling, packing, getting everything ready."Ball State carries some momentum into this weekend after winning its first series of the year last week at Ohio University. The Cardinals got a big weekend from All-American Kolbrin Vitek, who was named a player of the week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper this week. The junior threw seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits in the rubbermatch with the Bobcats. He also went 6-for-12 at the plate during the series.Overall, Ball State played well in two crucial aspects of the game, which allowed it to be successful."We got good, quality starting pitching, we need to continue to get that," coach Greg Beals said. "We played good defense, and we played good defense this week in practice. That's something we need to maintain."The pitching staff will still be without Friday starter Morgan Coombs, who is out indefinitely with an elbow injury. Last week Perci Garner filled in beautifully, winning his first career start. Taking over Garner's spot as the relief ace has been left-hander Derek Grabner. Grabner transferred to Ball State from Lincoln TrailCollege this year. After a rough start to the season, the junior has allowed just two runs in the last 9 1/3 innings."His last couple outings have been very good," Beals said. "He pitched well at Louisville and he pitched well at Ohio University. He is showing that he is more than capable of handling that role."While the entire team is happy to be home, the hitters are even happier. The wind will likely be blowing out at Ball Diamond this weekend, creating a very hitter-friendly park. Benbow said he enjoys those days, but they can't start swinging for the fences."We're trying to stick to our gameplan," he said. "Not trying to get too big when the wind is blowing out, staying back, hitting with the barrel."
With Ball State University's first Mid-American Conference series on the line Saturday afternoon at Ohio University, Kolbrin Vitek delivered his best pitching performance of the year.The Cardinals' ace shutout the Bobcats for seven innings, allowing just two hits for his first victory of the season. That game, combined with him going 6-for-12 with three runs and two RBIs in the series, netted Vitek national player of the week honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.Vitek (1-2) said he knew he needed to step up."After the first game, getting the loss, I needed to step up and just make sure we got the win," Vitek said.After a more pedestrian start to the year on the hill, Vitek has thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings against No. 10 University of Louisville and Ohio. He has struck out nine batters and allowed just five hits during the streak.Vitek said he just needed time to get his arm in shape again."I've been getting the feel back for all of my pitches," Vitek said. "I've been working with a better mix of pitches."A month into the season, Vitek leads the team with a 3.49 ERA and opponents are only hitting .226 off the junior.Catcher Zach Dygert said he hasn't seen any difference in Vitek's pitching since the season started. Dygert said Vitek had better command than normal Saturday."He was able to throw every one of his pitches for strikes when he needed to," the captain said. "He made big pitch after big pitch."Coach Greg Beals said the preseason All-American put all of his pitches to use against the Bobcats. Vitek required only 71 pitches to finish seven innings."He pitched a great game," Beals said. "We need our best players to have great performances when the team needs them, and he came up with one."Vitek's return to dominance as a pitcher is coming at just the right time for Ball State. Brad Piatt has struggled this year and has been dropped from the rotation. Morgan Coombs had been the Cardinals' best pitcher in the first month of the year, but is out indefinitely with an elbow injury.Beals said Vitek needs to keep pitching well, and thinks he will as he gets more used to playing second base and pitching every Sunday."He's getting more and more confident with his role," Beals said. "I think he was still getting settled into that role of Sunday starter and playing second base everyday. I think that's going to get better and better for him and I hope he continues pitching as well as he has been."
The first weekend of Mid-American Conference play went as well as Ball State University could have hoped.
Kolbrin Vitek's phenomenal performance gave Ball State University a 4-0 victory at Ohio University in game two of a doubleheader.
Kolbrin Vitek's phenomenal performance gave Ball State University a 4-0 victory at Ohio University in game two of a doubleheader.