Ball State’s baseball team improved to 1-2 on the season after posting a 5-1 win at Middle Tennessee in the final game of the season opening three-game series.
After playing three scoreless innings, the Cardinals rallied for three run in the top of the fourth and added two in the top of the ninth to seal its first victory of the young season.
The victory marked the first for head coach Rich Maloney in the first year of his return to Ball State. In addition, it marked Coach Maloney’s 598th career win. Maloney was also the Cardinals head coach from 1996-2002.
With two outs in the fourth, Ball State’s Sean Godfrey singled up the middle and stole second. Cody Campbell single through the right side of the infield, scoring Godfrey to give Ball State a 1-0 lead. T.J. Weir was next to the plate and hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot that gave the Cardinals a three run inning and a 3-0 lead.
After giving up one run in the bottom of the seventh, Ball State rallied again in the ninth with two outs. Weir reached base on a throwing error by the Middle Tennessee third baseman. Billy Wellman took advantage of the error and smacked his first home run of the season — a two run blast that put the Cardinals up 5-1.
Sophomore right hander Scott Baker started for the Cardinals and pitched seven innings, allowing one earned run, while striking out eight and walking only two. Baker earned the victory to go to 1-0 on the year. Three other Ball State pitchers — Cameron Schooley, Clay Manering and Miles Moeller — combined to pitch the final two inning and allowed only one hit while facing seven batters.
Ball State managed five runs on six hits, while Middle Tennessee tallied only one run on seven hits.
The Cardinals will continue the 2013 season at the Lipscomb Friday through Sunday. Ball State will face Bradley and Lipscomb in two games apiece at the Nashville, Tenn., school.