Baseball Hosts Eastern Michigan This Weekend
What's On Tap . . .
Ball State returns to Mid-American Conference play this weekend having won two straight games as the Cardinals host Eastern Michigan in a three-game series at Ball Diamond ... The Cardinals and Eagles will play Friday afternoon at 3 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
All three games will have live stats available at www.ballstatesports.com/livestats ... Additionally, updates will be posted on Twitter @BallUBaseball.
Probable Starting Pitchers. . .
Ball State will send sophomore right-hander T.J. Weir to the hill Friday afternoon ... The Cardinals have not named a starter for either Saturday or Sunday due to the injury to senior right-hander Cal Bowling ... Eastern Michigan will counter with three right-handers in Neil Butara, Steve Weber and Ryan Lavoie.
Weir will be making his 10th appearance of the season and ninth start of the season ... He has a 1-6 record with a 6.22 ERA in 46.1 innings pitched ... He has struck out 37 batters while walking 12 ... In his last three starts, Weir owns a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings of work against Kent State, Miami and Ohio ... He has worked into the seventh inning in all three starts allowing just five runs with striking out 15 and walking four batters.
Butara will be making his 11th appearance and seventh start of the season Friday ... He has a 3-2 record with a 2.53 ERA in 42.2 innings of work ... He has struck out 31 while walking 19 ... He picked up the victory last weekend over Central Michigan working 6.2 innings of shutout baseball allowing seven hits while striking out four.
Weber will be making his 11th appearance and 10th start of the season Saturday ... He has a 3-3 record with a 7.69 ERA in a team-high 48.0 innings of work ... He has allowed 78 hits on the season while walking11 batters and striking out 32 batters ... Last weekend, he picked up a no decision after going 6.1 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits against the Chippewas.
Lavoie will be making his 12th appearance and sixth start of the season Sunday ... He has a 3-1 record with an 8.48 ERA in 28.2 innings ... He has struck out 28 while walking 17 ... Last weekend, he worked 2.1 innings in the start against Central Michigan allowing four runs on three hits while walking three in a game that EMU rallied for a walk-off victory.
Series History . . .
Ball State and Eastern Michigan have met 136 times prior to this weekend with the Cardinals trailing the all-time series by a 62-73-1 margin ... Eastern Michigan has won the past four games in the series, including a three-game sweep last year in Ypsilanti ... The Eagles out-scored the Cardinals 36-10 in the series ... Ball State won the series in 2010 in Muncie, posting wins in the first two games ... The Cardinals and Eagles have been offensive stalwarts the last three years they have met ... The Eagles have scored 118 runs in the past 10 games against the Cardinals while Ball State has posted 92 runs in the last 10 games.
Last season, Ball State was led by former Cardinal Cody Elliott who tallied six hits, including three doubles ... Tim Issler posted five hits on the weekend while Sean Godfrey added four hits ... Eastern Michigan was led former Eagle Zach Leonard who drove in nine runs in the series while Ken Battiston hit a pair of home runs ... Ben Magsig added five hits and four RBI while Brent Ohrman tallied six hits.
Coaching Comparison . . .
Ball State head coach Alex Marconi enters his second season at the helm ... Marconi posted a 15-35 record last year after working for five years as an assistant coach for BSU under former head coach Greg Beals (Ohio State).
Eastern Michigan is led by fourth-year head coach Jay Alexander who owns a 106-108 record at the helm of the Eagles.
Scouting The Cardinals . . .
Ball State enters the weekend with a 9-25 overall record and a 4-8 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Cardinals have won back-to-back games for the second time this season with a Sunday win over Ohio and a win Tuesday over Northwestern Ohio ... Ball State has scored 137 runs (4.0 runs/game) this season and is batting .248 as a team ... Opponents have scored 261 runs (7.7 runs/game) and are batting .306 as a team.
Senior second baseman Mitch Widau leads the team with a .298 batting average ... Widau is tied for third on the team with 31 hits and has a team-high .382 on-base percentage ... Sophomore Sean Godfrey is second on the team with a .287 batting average and also has 31 hits ... Godfrey leads the Cardinals in MAC play with a .381 batting average and 16 hits ... Sophomore T.J. Weir leads the team with 16 RBI and is tied for the team lead with 33 hits while owning a .256 batting average.
In the bullpen, right-hander Chris Marangon has appeared in 14 games and has a 4.84 ERA in 35.1 innings ... Marangon leads the team with two saves while also starting four games ... Left-hander Devin Wilburn also has appeared in 14 games and owns a 6.16 ERA in 19.0 innings.
Scouting The Eagles . . .
Eastern Michigan enters the weekend with a 17-19 overall record and an 8-4 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Eagles have won back-to-back MAC series with wins over Central Michigan and Western Michigan ... Eastern Michigan has scored 236 runs (6.6 runs/game) while posting a .292 batting average ... Opponents have scored 263 runs (7.3 runs/game) while owning a .317 batting average.
Ben Magsig leads the Eagles with a .360 batting average as one of four EMU players over .300 ... Magsig leads the team with 11 doubles and is second with 26 RBI ... Brent Ohrman is second on the team with a .357 batting average and leads the team with 50 hits and 37 runs scored ... Matt Hitt has posted four home runs this season as EMU has recorded 17 as a team.
In the bullpen, Ben Dartnell leads the team with 16 appearances and has a 6.60 ERA in 15.0 innings ... Joe Battistelli has appeared in 14 games and owns a 6.87 ERA in 38.0 innings while leading the team with three saves.
Looking Ahead . . .
Ball State hits the road for four straight games next week as it travels to nationally ranked Purdue Wednesday before heading to Toledo for three straight games.