A ninth inning rally and a four run 12th inning by the Ball State baseball team led the Cardinals to a 10-6 win over Eastern Michigan in the first of a three-game series between the two teams.
With the win, Ball State evened its overall record to 20-20 on the season while improving to 9-10 in the Mid-American Conference. The Eagles fell back below the .500 mark at 21-22 overall and 9-10 in the MAC. Ball State pulled into a second-place tie with EMU in the West Division.
With Eastern Michigan ahead, 6-4, in the top of the ninth and Cody Campbell down to his final strike, Campbell tied the game with a double to right center and force extra innings. The Eagles had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 11th but were unable to score. The Cardinals put three aboard in the 12th and scored four times.
Miles Moeller earned the win and improved to 1-2 on the season. He pitched three innings of relief for the Cardinals en route to the win. Moeller struck out five, walked a pair and allowed just one base hit.
Wes Winkle led the Cardinals with a 5-for-7 performance from the plate with three runs-batted-in. Ryan Spaulding, who was 2-for-2 on the day, delivered the game-winning single for Ball State in the 12th. Campbell finished the game 2-for-5 with a trio of RBI.
Ball State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Winkle singled to start the game and Sean Godfrey scalded a double down the left field line to drive Winkle home.
With Eastern Michigan leading 4-1 after four innings, the Cardinals got two runs back in the fifth to pull to within one, 4-3. Sam Tidaback hit a one-out double to left field and came around to score on a Winkle single to center field. Back-to-back walks forced home another run.
Tidaback plated Blake Beemer for the tying marker in the sixth. Beemer led off with a double and took third on a wild pitch. A groundout to second did the job and made it a 4-4 affair.
The top of the 11th began with Winkle reaching on an infield single to third base. Winkle was sacrifice bunted over to second and then took third on a balk. On a Godfrey flyout, the Cardinals took a chance on sending Winkle and he was out at the plate.
A balk by Moeller gave Eastern Michigan a runner in scoring position, but Moeller retired pinch hitter Dae Bowden for the first out and intentionally walked Wilson to try and set up the double play. The situation became even more favorable for EMU when Moeller loaded the bases by hitting the next batter. A line drive to Beemer in left field ended the threat.
Campbell led off the 12th inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Beemer drew a one-out walk to put two on with one out. Another walk to Brandon Estep loaded the sacks with Cardinals. Spaulding worked the count to 2-2 and blooped a high fastball into center field to plate the go-ahead run. The floodgates opened up for Ball State as an infield single and a seeing-eye knock combined for a four-run inning and a 10-6 lead.
In the Eagles' final at-bat, Moeller issued a walk but no more as the Cardinals took the series opener, 10-6.
The two teams are scheduled for game two of the series Saturday at 3 p.m.