Freshman outfielder Joe Gunn celebrates with his teammates after a score during the game against Dayton at the Ball Baseball Diamond on March 18. The Cardinals hosted a double header for this season's home opener and won both games. The Cardinals won 6-0 in the first game and 4-3 in the second game.  Kyle Crawford // DN
BASEBALL

PREVIEW: Ball State baseball vs. Butler

Ball State baseball looks to end its four-game losing streak when it hosts Butler in a mid-week non-conference game Tuesday. The Cardinals (11-13, 0-3 MAC) boast the best ERA in the Mid-American Conference (3.53), though the Bulldogs (16-7, 0-0 Big East) have a 3.15 ERA that's second in the Big East. Butler is on a five-game winning streak, including a 3-game sweep of Ohio (11-11, 0-0 MAC) over the weekend. Ball State was just swept by Kent State in its first series of MAC play. The Bulldogs hit .267 as a team, led by redshirt junior infielder Michael Hartnagel, who's on a six-game hitting streak. Hartnagel is hitting .410 on the season with 10 doubles. Ball State sophomore outfielder Roman Baisa carries a seven-game hitting streak into the matchup, hitting .275. He's also second on the team with 13 runs scored. Junior right-handed pitcher Brendan Burns (1-0) is expected to make his first start of the season for the Cardinals. He has a 2.61 ERA but has only pitched 10.1 innings. Primarily a starter last season (12 of his 14 appearances were starts), Burns went 5-4 with a 3.81 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday at Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.






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