ATHENS, Ohio - The Ball State baseball team allowed six runs in the final three innings as the Cardinals suffered a 6-1 loss to Mid-American Conference foe Ohio Friday evening at Wren Stadium. The victory improves Ohio to 7-3 in MAC play while the Cardinals fall to 3-7 in league action.
Sophomore right-hander T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) picked up the loss for the Cardinals despite working 6.2 strong innings. Weir allowed three runs on seven hits in his third straight start working into the seventh inning. He was out-dueled by Ohio left-hander Brent Choban who posted a complete game six-hitter, limiting the Cardinals to one run while striking out five.
Ohio (17-16, 7-3 MAC) threatened in the bottom of the second inning against Weir. The Bobcats led off the inning with two straight singles into right field. He settled in and thwarted the threat inducing a fly ball and two straight groundouts to keep Ohio off the board.
Ball State (7-24, 3-7 MAC) threatened in the top of the third inning against Choban as junior Wes Winkle (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) reached second on a Ohio fielding error. Senior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) lined a single into center field but it was hit too hard for Winkle to score leaving runners at the corners. Choban worked out of the jam as he induced an inning-ending ground ball double play to keep the game scoreless.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning as sophomore Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) tripled off the left center field wall with one out. Junior Blake Beemer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) gave the Cardinals the 1-0 lead as he fought off four two-strike pitches before lifting a sacrifice fly to deep right field, plating Godfrey.
Ohio made some noise in the bottom of the fifth inning as Garrett Black reached on a single and Tyler Wells drew a two-out walk to put runners on the corners. Weir got Ohio right fielder Jensen Painter to ground out to third base to keep the Bobcats off the board.
Ohio finally got to Weir in the bottom of the seventh inning as Garrett Black doubled with two outs. Ethan Newton followed with a single to center field and Black barely beat Winkle's throw to the plate to tie the game at 1-1.
After a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Jake Madsen lined a two-run single up the middle to give Ohio a 3-1 lead ending Weir's afternoon on the mound. Junior right-hander Chris Marangon (Maple Valley, Wash./Edmunds CC) came on in relief with runners on the corners and got an infield pop fly to end the inning.
Ohio extended its lead in the bottom of the eighth inning scoring three runs to take a 6-1 lead. The Bobcats posted three hits in the inning and scored two more runs with two outs, running their two-out run total to five on the game.
The Cardinals and Bobcats will continue their series Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Wren Stadium with sophomore left-hander Nestor Bautista (New York, N.Y./George Washington) set to take the hill.