MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State baseball team split its Saturday doubleheader with Ohio to win the weekend series from the Bobcats at Ball Diamond.
The Cardinals, which won Friday’s series opener, took Saturday’s first game 7-3 before Ohio avoided the sweep with a 13-10 victory in game two. The teams played a doubleheader to finish the series because of the threat for rain on Sunday.
Ball State now stands at 19-20 overall and 8-10 in Mid-American Conference play, while Ohio leaves Muncie at 11-31 overall and 6-12 in the league.
The Cardinals are off this week for final exams and will return to action next weekend with a MAC road series at Eastern Michigan.
Game 1: Ball State 7, Ohio 3
The Cardinals got a solid outing from starting pitcher Chris Marangon and used a four-run sixth inning to blow things open in the first game of the day.
Marangon (2-3) worked into the ninth inning before giving way to reliever Miles Moeller for the final three outs. He allowed one second-inning run and then kept Ohio from finding the scoreboard again until the eighth inning.
Ball State scored single runs in each of the first three frames, including solo home runs from Sam Tidaback (the first of his career) and Sean Godfrey, but it was the sixth inning that proved to be the difference in the game.
The Cardinals scored all four of their sixth-inning runs with two outs after Brett Barber came out of the Ohio bullpen in relief of starter Marck Paliotto. Tidaback and Blake Beemer both had run-scoring singles, and Dominick Catanzarite plated the other two runs on a deep double to left center field.
Paliotto (2-7) was charged with two of those four runs, in addition to the Cardinals’ first three of the game, and suffered the loss.
Godfrey, Tidaback and Wes Winkle led Ball State with two hits each , while Cody Gaertner paced Ohio with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate.
Game 2: Ohio 13, Ball State 10
Ball State scored seven runs in the final two innings but could not overcome a scoring lull in the middle of what proved to be a slugfest in the nightcap.
Godfrey added three more hits and drove in a pair of runs, while Cody Campbell homered and drove in three for the Cardinals.
Ball State found itself trailing 12-3 after surrendering four runs in the top of the eighth inning but did not go away. The Cardinals got to Ohio reliever Sean Kennedy for five runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Campbell’s two-run homer. Jarrett James’ RBI single later on capped the inning and cut what was once a nine-run Ohio lead down to four at 12-8.
After the Bobcats tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth, Ball State tried to mount one last rally in its final inning at the plate. The Cardinals picked up two more runs and drew within three on Blake Beemer’s two-out, RBI triple that put the potential tying run in the on-deck circle before Ohio reliever Logan Cozart picked up the final out.
Connor Sitz (2-6) notched the win for Ohio. He allowed three first-inning runs but then held Ball State scoreless over his final five innings on the mound. T.J. Weir (2-2) suffered the loss for the Cardinals, earning the start despite pitching in relief a day earlier. He allowed four runs in four innings before a quartet of relievers finished out the game.
Jake Madsen and Ben Otto tallied four hits each to lead the Ohio attack as the Bobcats racked up a total of 20 hits in the game.