MUNCIE, Ind. - T.J. Weir struck out a career high 14 batters, while throwing his first complete game of the season, in the Ball State baseball team's 3-2 win over Western Michigan Saturday afternoon at Ball Diamond.
"T.J. was simply outstanding," Ball State head coach Rich Maloney said. "His stellar performance is exactly wat this team needed to win this hard fought battle."
With the win, Ball State improves to 26-13 on the season and 10-3 in Mid-American Conference play, while Western Michigan falls to 14-20 on the campaign and 5-9 in league action.
Weir improved to 5-1 on the mound after allowing just two runs off of seven hits. His 14 strikeouts were the most by a Ball State pitcher since Bryan Bullington's 15 in 2002.
After only three hits in the first game of the series Friday, Ball State’s Alex Call was patient at the plate and started the first inning off reaching base with a walk. Ryan Spaulding would then hit his fifth homerun of the season to give Ball State the 2-0 edge over Western Michigan.
Both teams would then go scoreless until the fifth inning. The Broncos' Hunter Pierce singled up the middle to reach first base. Theo Piccirilli would single to center field advancing Hunter to second, after a Ball State error, Hunter crossed the plate for an unearned run while Piccirilli moved on to third. The next batter up would ground out to the shortstop which allowed Piccirilli to score, tying the contest at 2-2. Weir was able to get the Cardinals out of the inning after striking out Vinnie Booker.
The winning run for the Cardinals was scored in the bottom half of the fifth inning. With one out, Cole Griesinger singled to the Broncos third baseman and would advance on a throwing error. Spaulding then walked and Sean Godfrey singled to left field to score Griesinger and put Ball State back up by one at 3-2.
The remainder of the game was a pitching duel between Weir and Western Michigan's Chad Mayle, both of whom threw complete games.
In the top of the ninth Weir struck out two batters, while allowing only one hit and Godfrey made a catch at centerfield for the last out of the game to seal the victory.
The Ball State baseball team will close out its three-game MAC series against Western Michigan Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Ball Diamond.