The teams completed the second round Tuesday morning after play was stopped Monday night because of darkness. Golfers had between two and five holes remaining to complete their second rounds before teeing off for the final 18 holes.
When play resumed, Merkel finished off a second-round 69. He is 2-under par for the tournament at 138 (70-68) and leads Bowling Green's Joe Cooper by a stroke.
Ball State's Alex Stinson and Zach Yinger each climbed up the leaderboard with second-round scores of 69. Stinson is tied for third at 1-over par 141 (72-69), while Yinger sits alone in sixth place at 2-over 142 (73-69).
Freshman Tyler Ostrom, who posted Ball State's best score in the opening round, is tied for seventh at 3-over 143 (69-74), and Tony Lazzara is tied for 10th at 5-over 145 (76-69), giving the Cardinals five golfers in the top 10 through 36 holes.