Ball State (3-7) vs.
Georgia Southern (11-7)
Friday, March 9 @ Noon
Ball State (3-7) at
Coastal Carolina (12-3)
Saturday, March 10 @ Noon
Ball State (3-7) vs.
Sunday, March 11 @ 11 a.m.
*All games played at Coastal Carolina's Charles Watson Stadium in Conway, S.C.
Follow the entire tournament online with live stats through the Coastal Carolina Athletics Web site: http://www.goccusports.com/?tournament=18
The Georgia Southern radio broadcast can be accessed through the banner link at the top of www.georgiasoutherneagles.com.
About Ball State
The Cardinals took two out of three games on the road at Austin Peay last weekend to improve to 3-7 on the season . . . Ball State picked up its first back-to-back victories with a 10-1 win Saturday and a 4-2 win Sunday . . . Ryan Chenoweth leads the Cardinals with a .394 batting average and is one of three active, everyday players hitting at least .300 . . . Chenoweth’s two home runs and eight RBI also lead the team . . . Matt Gard enters the weekend hitting .324, followed by Tyler Rogers at .300 . . . Ball State is nearing the end of a stretch of 15 straight games away from home . . . The team’s home opener is slated for next Friday with the opening game of the Ball State Invitational.
Scouting Georgia Southern
The Eagles enter the tournament at 11-7 after taking two games last weekend from Brown and losing one to Kennesaw State . . . Chris Shehan leads Georgia Southern at the plate with a .408 bating average and 26 RBI . . . Mike Economos owns a .325 batting average and has belted a team-high five home runs and 10 doubles . . . Projected Friday starter Brian Wilkerson has won three of his five starts, including one complete game.
The Series: Ball State trails the all-time series with Georgia Southern 3-2-1 . . . The teams have not met since 1994, when the Cardinals lost 2-of-3 on the road.
Scouting Coastal Carolina
The Chanticleers, ranked No. 24, are 12-3 after a 4-0 loss Wednesday to No. 6 Clemson . . . Coastal Carolina won three games at home last weekend, defeating Rhode Island, Marist and West Virginia . . . David Sappelt leads the team with a .464 batting average and is one of five starters hitting better than .300 . . . Chris Raber is hitting .383 and tops Coastal Carolina with five home runs and 15 RBI . . . Bobby Gagg, who is slated to pitch Saturday, has won two of his four starts with one loss and a no decision.
The Series: Ball State and Coastal Carolina have met only once, a 6-5 home victory for the Chanticleers in 2004.
The Wildcats enter the weekend 6-11 after a 4-1 loss Tuesday to La Salle . . . Bethune-Cookman has lost seven of its past eight games with the lone win coming in a 9-3 victory Sunday over Western Michigan . . . Angel Negron leads the Wildcats offensively with a .339 batting average, two home runs and 13 RBI . . . Angel Mercado (.321) and Jose Ortiz-Rivera (.304) are also hitting better than .300 . . . Sunday starter Hiram Burgos has appeared in six games and started four with an 0-1 record.
The Series: Sunday’s meeting will be the first all-time between Ball State and Bethune-Cookman.
Crankin’ Out The Hits
Ball State had at least 10 hits in all three games last weekend at Austin Peay . . . After cranking out a season-high 11 hits Friday, the Cardinals topped that effort with 16 hits in Saturday’s 10-1 win . . . Jeremy Hazelbaker led the way with three hits in the game, followed by Wayne Bond, Justin Rogers and Alex Schmid with two hits each . . . During the 2006 campaign, Ball State managed more than 16 hits only four times the entire season.
He’s Heating Up
Tyler Rogers led Ball State with a .600 batting average in three games last weekend at Austin Peay . . . The freshman infielder hit safely in 6-of-10 at bats and drew two walks to reach base in eight of his 12 plate appearances . . . His performance at the plate raised his batting average from .133 - the lowest among Ball State starters - to .320, the third-highest . . . Rogers opened the series with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate on Friday . . . In Saturday’s 10-1 Ball State victory, he picked up two RBI on a two-out single as part of a five-run seventh inning that blew the game open . . . Rogers closed the series Sunday with two hits in three at bats, including an RBI on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt.
Strong Innings From The Starters
Last weekend at Austin Peay, Ball State’s starting pitchers allowed only five earned runs in 18.0 innings . . . Saturday starter Tyler Pritchard and Sunday starter Ryan DeGeeter combined to allow only one earned run in 13.0 innings . . . Pritchard took the ball Saturday and allowed one earned run on five hits, striking out six in 6.0 innings . . . Sunday, DeGeeter one-upped his teammate, throwing 7.0 innings without allowing an earned run . . . DeGeeter allowed only three hits and struck out seven, facing the minmum number of batters in six of his seven innings.
Not Bad From the Bullpen Either
In the past four games, the Ball State bullpen has allowed only one run in 12.0 innings . . . Senior Richie Fralick has led the charge, throwing five scoreless innings in two appearances . . . Freshman Brad Piatt and sophomore Adam Quinn have each thrown two scoreless innings during the four-game stretch, and junior Josh Vollmer has thrown one scoreless inning . . . Junior closer Kyle Heyne allowed one run in two innings Sunday at Austin Peay.
This Place Looks Familiar
Ball State outfielder Ryan Chenoweth spent last year at Coastal Carolina . . . After redshirting with the Chanticleers, Chenoweth transferred to Ball State . . . The redshirt freshman is originally from Indiana, having played at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne before signing to play at Coastal Carolina.
Chenoweth Leading The Way
Through 10 games, Ryan Chenoweth is leading Ball State in eight offensive categories . . . Chenoweth tops the Cardinals in batting average (.394), slugging percentage (.636), on-base percentage (.432), hits (13), RBI (8), home runs (2), total bases (21) and sacrifice flies (1) . . . Chenoweth also has the most multiple-hit games of any Cardinal player with four.
Senior infielder Matt Gard enters the weekend riding a nine-game hitting streak, while freshman outfielder Ryan Chenoweth owns a seven-game hit streak . . . Gard’s streak began in Ball State’s second game of the season, Feb. 17 against La Salle, and includes a three-hit performance at No. 1 Vanderbilt . . . Chenoweth started his streak Feb. 18 versus Oklahoma State . . . In addition, Jeremy Hazelbaker enters the weekend with a five-game hit streak, and Wayne Bond and Kory Benbow have hit safely in four straight games.
Following Saturday’s game with Coastal Carolina, Ball State will have played four teams that have been ranked this season . . . The Chanticleers enter the weekend ranked 24th by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association . . . In its first 10 games, Ball State has already played three teams ranked in the NCBWA Top 30 . . . Two weeks ago, the Cardinals played their highest-ranked opponent at No. 1 Vanderbilt . . . In the team’s opening weekend at the FAU Beach Ball Bash, Ball State played Florida Atlantic, which started the season unranked but reached 28th in the NCBWA poll, and Oklahoma State, which currently sits at No. 20.
Shuttin’ Em Down
Ball State’s 1-0 victory Feb. 23 at Lipscomb, a combined shutout by Brenden Stines and Kyle Heyne, was the team’s first shutout of the season . . . Cardinal pitchers combined on four shutouts in 2006 . . . The last shutout came May 13, 2006 at Northern Illinois, where Ball State won 4-0 in a weather-shortened, seven-inning game . . . The last time the Cardinals shut out an opponent in a nine-inning game was May 7, 2006, when Ball State beat Toledo 13-0.
First Go ’Round
In Ball State’s first three weekends of play, 26 players have seen action for the Cardinals . . . Of those 26, 10 are freshmen, and 15 are playing their first games in a Ball State uniform . . . Of the 10 freshmen who have played, five of them have started at least three of the team’s seven games.
Cardinals Tabbed Second In MAC West
Ball State was picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Division by the league’s coaches . . . The Cardinals were picked in the preseason poll to finish behind Central Michigan in the West Division, which is exactly where last year’s team ended the regular season . . . The 2006 Cardinals, however, defeated the division champion Chippewas on their way to winning the first MAC Tournament Championship in school history . . . Since the conference went to a divisional format in 1998, Ball State has never finished worse than second in the West, and the Cardinals have won the division six times . . . In 2006, Ball State finished the season 38-22 and 16-9 in the MAC.
WATCH Out For Rogers
Junior outfielder Justin Rogers has been placed on the 2007 Wallace Watch, a list of 148 student-athletes eligible for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the College Baseball Foundation’s player of the year . . . Rogers returns as Ball State’s leading hitter in 2007 after batting .347 as a sophomore on Ball State’s 2006 NCAA Regional team . . . He logged 13 doubles, five home runs and 44 RBI last season on his way to earning All-MAC Second Team honors . . . Rogers hit .560 over the Cardinals’ final 14 games, helping Ball State go 12-2 during that stretch to lock up a second place finish in the MAC West Division.
And Heyne, Too
Junior closer Kyle Heyne has been named to the preseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in Division I baseball . . . Heyne ranked second in the MAC with 12 saves in 2006 and finished the season with a team-best 2.11 ERA . . . He led the Cardinals with 29 appearances and struck out 46 batters while walking only five in 42.2 innings of work . . . He earned the win in Ball State’s 2006 MAC Tournament semifinal victory over Kent State and then earned the save in the championship game rematch with the Golden Flashes . . . He then picked up another save in the Cardinals’ first round NCAA Regional win over Kentucky.
Ball State welcomes 14 newcomers to its program for 2007 . . . Nine true freshmen and five transfers are new to the 2007 team . . . Of the 14 newcomers, 13 come from the state of Indiana . . . First baseman Matt Stoeklen, from Northglenn, Colo., is the only newcomer from outside the Hoosier State . . . Those newcomers join 20 returning players for Ball State, 14 of whom earned letters in 2006 . . . The pitching staff boasts the highest number of returning players with 11, including 2006 weekend starters Tyler Pritchard and Ryan DeGeeter and 2006 mid-week starter Jay Broughton.
Of the 34 players on Ball State’s roster, 24 are from the state of Indiana, including 13 of the 14 newcomers to the program this season . . . Of those 24, five are from the Muncie area . . . Senior second baseman Matt Gard played locally at Muncie Central High School, while freshman infielder Shannon McCormick played high school baseball at Burris in Muncie . . . Freshmen Kory Benbow and Nick Zimmerman were high school teammates at nearby Cowan High School, and freshman Jeremy Hazelbaker played nearby at Wapahani High School.
Among Best In 64-Team Tourney Era
Ball State ranks as one of the top 64 baseball programs in the nation since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999, according to Baseball America . . . In the magazine’s ranking system, Ball State has accumulated 58 total points over the past eight seasons to rank 62nd since the expansion of the NCAA Tournament . . . The Cardinals own a .618 (283-175) winning percentage since 1999, and the program made its first NCAA Regional appearance in 2006 . . . Ball State has had three players named Baseball America All-Americans in the past eight years . . . During that time period, the Cardinals have had 10 players drafted in the first 10 rounds of the draft . . . Of those players, Larry Bigbie, Bryan Bullington, Brad Snyder and Justin Wechsler have each spent time on Major League Baseball rosters.
Beefing Up The Home Schedule
After playing just 17 home games in 2006, Ball State is slated to play 24 games at Ball Diamond in 2007 . . . In addition to playing 15-of-27 Mid-American Conference games in Muncie, the Cardinals will also play host to in-state, Big Ten foes Indiana and Purdue . . . The Cardinals are scheduled to play their home opener March 16 against Evansville as part of the Ball State Invitational . . . Ball State will also play Le Moyne and MAC opponent Bowling Green in that home tournament.
Following the Myrtle Beach Hyundai-Isuzu Classic, Ball State will travel north to Winston-Salem, N.C., to play at Wake Forest Tuesday and Wednesay . . . The Cardinals are then scheduled to return home to host the Ball state Invitational next weekend with games against Evansville, Bowling Green and Le Moyne.