Ball State's baseball team, under the direction of head coach Rich Maloney, suffered a 6-3 Mid-American Conference loss to Central Michigan at Ball Diamond.
With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 15-17 overall and 5-7 in MAC play, while Central Michigan improved to 15-19 overall and 5-7 in league action.
Ball State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and maintained a 3-2 advantage through eight innings. But, the Chippewas rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth to claim the 6-3 victory and won two of the three games in the weekend series.
T.J. Weir started the game on the mound for the Cardinals and pitched 5.1 innings, allowing only two earned runs. He struck out eight of the 24 batters he faced and left the game when the contest was tied at 2-2. Ball State used five additional pitchers in the game and Miles Moeller was the pitcher of record after allowing two runs in two thirds of an inning.
Blake Beemer was hit by a pitch in his first inning at-bat and advanced to third on a single by Cody Campbell. Billy Wellman's single scored Beemer to give Ball State a 1-0 early lead. Campbell advanced to second on Wellman's hit, moved to third when Weir walked and scored on a wild pitch to put the Cardinals up 2-0.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Winkle opened the inning with a single to center field. Beemer walked and that was followed by a Sean Godfrey double to right, scoring Winkle and putting the Cardinals ahead 3-2.
But the Chippewas mounted the ninth inning rally with four runs on four hits and left Muncie, Ind., with the victory.
Ball State will host Indiana Tech Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Ball Diamond before hosting Indiana Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a pair of non-conference games. The Cardinals will travel to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for a three-game series Friday through Sunday. Admission to all Ball State regular-season home games is free of charge.