CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Ball State baseball team posted its second victory of the season Friday afternoon as the Cardinals knocked off Charlotte 7-1 at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Charlotte entered Friday's contest with a 10-2 record and are receiving votes in two national polls this week.
Junior right-hander Cal Bowling (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) picked up his first victory of the season as he tossed 6.2 shutout innings. Bowling limited the 49ers to just four hits while striking out five batters. Sophomore left-hander Jon Cisna (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township) came in and worked the final 2.1 innings and only allowed an unearned run in the ninth inning. Cisna limited Charlotte to four hits while striking out two batters.
Junior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) paced the Cardinals' 13-hit attack posting a team-high three hits while driving in two runs. Widau was one of three Cardinals with two RBI in the victory joining sophomores Blake Beemer (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont) and Stephen Claypool (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child).
Ball State (2-11) opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning against Andrew Smith. Widau led off the inning with a single while freshmen Kenny Mahala (Highland, Ind./Andrean) and T.J. Weir (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Beemer drove in the Cardinals' run with a fielder's choice to plate Widau.
The Cardinals broke the game open in the sixth inning as they plated six runs to take a 7-0 lead. Widau led off the inning with a double and Mahala reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Beemer drove in the inning's first run with a single to right field before Claypool posted a two-run double to left center field to make it a 4-0 advantage.
Ball State kept pressing as freshman Mitch Overley (Zionsville, Ind./Brebeuf) singled through the right side to score Claypool. After two straight walks loaded the bases, Widau ripped a two-run single to center field for his second hit of the inning and a 7-0 lead.
Charlotte broke the Cardinals' shutout effort in the bottom of the ninth inning against Cisna. The 49ers led off the inning with two straight singles before Cisna struck out Justin Roland for the first out of the inning. The Cardinals got a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning but BSU committed a fielding error that allowed the only Charlotte run to cross the plate. Cisna ended any threat with another ground ball to finish the victory.
Ball State continues its three-game series with Charlotte Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. with senior left-hander Derek Grabner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lincoln Trail) set to make the start for the Cardinals.