Ball State’s baseball team suffered its first defeat of the season when the Cardinals lost 4-3 to Dayton in Spartanburg, S.C., Monday afternoon. With the loss, Ball State falls to 3-1, while the Flyers improved to 2-1 on the season.
Clay Manering started the game on the mound and pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out four in the loss.
The Cardinals got on the board first with two runs in the third inning and maintained a 2-0 lead through five innings. Sam Tidaback led off the third with a single to right and with one out, Alex Maloney and Ryan Spaulding added singles to load the bases. Sean Godfrey doubled to left to score Tidaback and Maloney and Ball State led 2-0.
Dayton scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the sixth on four hits and took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning.
In the top half of the eighth, Ball State’s Brandon Estep led off the inning with a pinch hit home run to pull the Cardinals to within one run. But the rally ended there and Ball State left runners on first and second.
Ball State’s defense held Dayton scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, but failed to score in the top half of the ninth and the Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season.
Kennedy and Spaulding were each 3-for-4 at the plate, while Godfrey was 1-for-4 with two runs-batted-in. Maloney and Tidaback each tallied one hit apiece, while Estep ended the game 1-for-2 with the one RBI.
Ball State will play Friday through Sunday in the Snow Bird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Cardinals are scheduled to face Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Mississippi Valley State Friday, Iowa Saturday and Northwestern Sunday.