AKRON, Ohio -- Alex Maloney homered in the 11th inning Saturday to lift the Ball State baseball team to a 4-3 win at Akron, evening this weekend's series.
The first-place Cardinals improved to 31-15 overall and 15-4 in the Mid-American Conference, while Akron dropped to 23-22 and 10-10 in the league. The teams will close the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
Saturday's game was scoreless through seven innings before Ball State broke through for two runs in the eighth on a single from Ryan Spaulding and a double from Kyle Raleigh. The Cardinals added one more in the top of the ninth on a single from Alex Call to take a 3-0 lead.
After being shut out by Ball State starter Scott Baker for eight innings, Akron broke through for three in the bottom of the ninth. An RBI single from Brady Stewart knotted the game and sent it to extra innings.
After a mild rain delay, both teams went scoreless in the 10th inning. Maloney then homered to lead off the 11th, giving the lead back to the Cardinals.
Ball State reliever Zach Plesac, who had entered for Baker during the ninth inning, picked up the first two outs in the bottom of the 11th before handing the ball over to Clay Manering with two runners on. A hit batter loaded the bases, but Manering induced a ground out from James Meeker to end the game.
Both starting pitchers took no decisions. Plesac earned the win for Ball State to improve his record to 9-2, while Matt Larocca suffered the loss for Akron after surrendering the Cardinals' 11th-inning run.
Maloney and Sean Godfrey led Ball State with three hits each, while Maloney scored a pair of runs.