Baseball Set for Final MAC Series; Host NIU Thursday
Ball State Cardinals (26-22; MAC 13-11)
Thursday: Northern Illinois at Ball State (3:00) -- Muncie, Ind.
Friday: Northern Illinois at Ball State (3:00) -- Muncie, Ind.
Saturday: Northern Illinois at Ball State (1:00) -- Muncie, Ind.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS: The Huskies are 21-30 overall and 15-9 in the Mid-American Conference after losing a doubleheader at UW-Milwaukee Tuesday . . . Jeff Zimmerman leads Northern Illinois with a .325 batting average, while the team is hitting at a .251 pace.
THE SERIES: Ball State and Northern Illinois have met 71 times with the Cardinals holding a 40-30-1 all-time edge . . . The series dates back to 1971 . . . Ball State swept the three game series in DeKalb, Ill., last season.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Scott Baker ranks sixth in the nation in pitching victories with 10 . . . . Baker and Chris Marangon are tied for 17th nationally in games started with 13 apiece . . . Baker ranks 70th in the nation with 78 strikeouts . . . Baker is 31st in the country with a 1.69 ERA and 30th in the nation with four complete games.
THE MAC RACE: Ball State enters the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to win the MAC West Division Championship . . . The Cardinals are two games behind division leader Northern Illinois, but host the Huskies in a three game series in Muncie, Ind., this weekend . . . Mathematically, Ball State needs to win one game to lock up a spot in the eight team MAC Tournament scheduled for May 22-25 in Avon, Ohio . . . Ball State has the fourth best record of the league's 12 teams heading into the final weekend of play.