TOLEDO, Ohio - The Ball State baseball team dropped both games of a Mid-American Conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon to the Toledo Rockets, falling in game one 3-1 before dropping the series finale 10-3 at Scott Park. The losses drop the Cardinals to 6-12 in MAC play, while the MAC West Division-leading Rockets improve to 12-6 in league action.
Game One - Toledo 3, Ball State 1
Ball State junior right-hander Chris Marangon (Maple Valley, Wash./Edmunds CC) posted his first career complete game in game one, but the Cardinals fell 3-1 to the Rockets. Toledo scored all of its runs in the first two innings and only allowed a third-inning tally by the Cardinals as the teams were limited to 11 combined hits.
Marangon (1-5) picked up the loss despite working 8.0 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits while striking out five. This marks the second straight outing he has worked at least eight innings as he tallied a career-high 8.2 innings last weekend against Eastern Michigan.
Toledo opened the scoring quickly as Dan Zuckowski and Ben Hammer posted back-to-back one out singles to put runners at the corners. Marangon limited the damage to just one run though as he induced a sacrifice fly and a ground ball to end the inning trailing 1-0.
The Rockets expanded the lead to 3-0 in the second inning as Mark Lapikas doubled and Anthony Smith single two put two in scoring position. Toledo executed a safety squeeze bunt play that scored Lapikas with their second run while the Rockets took advantage of a BSU error to take a three-run lead.
Ball State scored its first run of the series in the top of the third inning against Toledo right-hander Matt Kuna. Sophomore Mitch Overley (Zionsville, Ind./Brebeuf) and junior Wes Winkle (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) posted two-out singles to start the Cardinals' rally. Senior second baseman Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) drove in the lone Ball State run as he singled up the middle scoring Overley to make it a 3-1 contest.
The Cardinals were limited to just five base runners over the final six innings as Kuna combined with Lincoln Rassi for a five-hitter. Kuna improved to 5-1 with the victory as he allowed just one run on four hits while striking out six. Rassi posted his third save tossing 3.0 shutout innings of one-hit baseball.
Game Two - Toledo 10, Ball State 3
Ball State dropped the series finale to the Rockets 10-3 as Toledo completed the weekend sweep by scoring the first 10 runs of the game, including a five-run fourth inning.
Sophomore right-hander Jacob Brewer (South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph's), fresh off the best start of his career when he worked 8.0 innings against Eastern Michigan, lasted just 3.1 innings and allowed seven runs, four earned on eight hits. Toledo right-hander Mike Hamann conversely lasted 7.0 innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits to improve to 2-4 on the year
Toledo came out of the gate quickly as it scored two runs in the first inning and two runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Rockets took advantage of a BSU error in the first inning while Nate Langhals and Zuchowski tallied RBI singles.
Toledo broke the game open in the fourth inning as it sent 10 batters to the plate scoring five runs on five hits while taking advantage of two Ball State fielding errors. Zuchowski posted a two-run single in the inning to open the scoring by Wes White capped the inning with an RBI single for the 10-0 lead.
Ball State broke through against Hamann in the seventh inning Widau reached on a Toledo error. Junior Blake Beemer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) ended the shutout for the Rockets as he roped a double into right field to score Widau.
The Cardinals added two runs in the eighth inning against Toledo reliever Tyler Scott. Senior Tim Issler (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) led off with a walk and moved to second as Kevin Schlotter (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) singled through the left side. After a wild pitch moved both into scoring position, Widau singled up the middle to score Issler while Schlotter came home to score on a Toledo error.
Ball State will be off during the midweek for final exams and will return to Mid-American Conference play next weekend hosting Western Michigan. The Cardinals and Broncos open the series Friday at 3 p.m. at Ball Diamond in their final home series of the regular season.