Ball State’s baseball team defeated Rider 5-4 in 10 innings in its second game of the day in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday. The Cardinals opened the day’s play with a 13-0 loss to Liberty, who is the pick to win the Big South Conference in the league’s preseason poll.
With the split in Saturday’s games, the Cardinals are 8-3 on the season. Ball State will play Liberty at Noon Sunday to complete its three days in Lynchburg, Va.
The Rider game was deadlocked at 4-4 through nine innings, but an Alex Maloney single to left opened the top of the 10th for the Cardinals. Maloney advanced to second on an Alex Call sacrifice bunt, and then a Sean Godfrey single moved Maloney to third. Maloney scored on the play when the left fielder couldn’t handle the ball and Ball State moved ahead 5-4.
In the bottom of the 10th, Liberty opened the inning with a single, but the Cardinals retired the next three Flames in order to seal the victory.
Zach Plesac pitched the final 3.2 innings, allowing only three hits and striking out five to earn the win and improve to 4-0 on the season. Jacob Brewer started the game, while B.J. Butler and Tyler Jordan pitched the middle five innings and combined to allow no runs while striking out three.
Ball State opened the day’s scoring vs. Rider with a four-run second inning, but Rider bounced right back with four runs in its portion of the same inning.
Caleb Stayton led off the second inning with a single to centerfield before Jarrett Rindfleish was hit by pitch and Sean Kennedy singled to load the bases. An Alex Maloney single through the left side of the infield scored Stayton and gave Ball State a 1-0 lead. Alex Call stepped to the plate and laced a double to right plating three runs and putting the Cardinals in the lead 4-0.
In the first game of the day, Liberty managed 13 runs on 15 hits, while limiting the Cardinals to zero runs on four hits.
Scott Baker started the game on the mound and lasted only two innings, allowing five runs and getting credited with the loss.