In its second game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, the Ball State baseball team scored three runs in the first inning, but fell to Kent State 4-3 Thursday night.
The Cardinals will now face Western Michigan, a team they defeated in the first round, in an elimination game at 4:30 Friday.
With the loss, Ball State falls to 39-17 on the season, while Kent State improved to 34-21 on the year.
After falling behind 2-0 when the Flashes scored two runs in the top half of the first, Alex Call led off the Ball State half of the first with a single and advanced to third on a double by Ryan Spaulding. With no outs and two runners in scoring position, Sean Godfrey, the 2014 MAC Player of the Year, ripped a double down the third base line to score two and even the game at 2-2. MAC Freshman Player of the Year Jarett Rindfleisch grounded to second for the first out of the inning, but advanced Godfrey to third. Sean Kennedy, an All-MAC Second-Team selection, grounded out to third but scored Godfrey and put Ball State on top 3-2.
After the team’s played a scoreless second inning, Kent State scored one run in the third and one in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead.
Ball State threatened in the fifth and sixth innings, but left two runners on base in each frame. The two teams combined for scoreless innings the remainder of the game. The Cardinals could not muster any offense in their final at-bat and fell to the Flashes for the first time in four games this season.
Scott Baker started the game for the Cardinals on the mound and pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out two, before giving way to Clay Manering. Manering pitched the final 5.1 innings, allowing no runs and only five hits. Baker suffered the loss to fall to 7-5 on the year.
Godfrey ended the day with a 1-for-4 performance with two RBI, while Call, Spaulding, Alex Maloney and Stayton managed the only other hits for the Cardinals.