Baseball Hosts Toledo In Three-Game Series
What's On Tap . . .
Ball State closes out the 2011 regular season this weekend with a three-game Mid-American Conference series against Toledo at Ball Diamond ... The two teams will open play Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. before playing Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. ... All three games will have live stats available at www.ballstatesports.com ... The Cardinals will honor their three seniors prior to the regular season finale Saturday in T.J. Baumet, Derek Grabner and Scott Brothers Jr.
The Cardinals enter the final week of MAC play on the outside looking in for the 2011 MAC Tournament ... Ball State trails Western Michigan by 2.5 games for the final spot in the tournament heading into the weekend ... The Cardinals will need to sweep all three games this weekend against Toledo and have Western Michigan drop all three games at home to Northern Illinois to qualify for the MAC Tournament.
Baumet Named MAC West Player Of The Week . . .
Senior shortstop T.J. Baumet was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week Tuesday ... Additionally, Baumet was named to Central Region Player of the Week by CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
Baumet led the Cardinals with a .647 batting average (11-of-17) in four road games ... He recorded five doubles and a home run on the week while posting a 1.118 slugging percentage ... He reached base 14 times for a .700 on-base percentage, while also stealing three bases.
Baumet notched three multiple-hit games on the week, including a pair of four-hit contests as he drove in five runs and scores six ... He opened the week with a season-high four hits against Big Ten foe Purdue before equaling the mark with four hits Saturday against Northern Illinois in game two of the doubleheader ... He posted two doubles and a home run in the Cardinals' 13-7 victory over the Huskies.
Series History . . .
Ball State and Toledo have met 107 times prior to this weekend's three-game series ... The Cardinals lead the all-time series by a 58-49 margin, but dropped two out of three at Toledo last year ... The two teams played a hotly contested series with all three games being deciding by an 8-7 final score ... Toledo won game one before the Cardinals posted an 8-7 victory in 10 innings in game two only to see the Rockets claim the series victory in the rubber game.
Center fielder Cody Elliott paced the Cardinals in the series as he posted two home runs and drove in six ... Former Cardinal Kolbrin Vitek posted six hits on the weekend, including three doubles and two home runs ... Toledo was led by Joe Corfman who went 9-of-13 in the series with eight runs scored while Aaron Dudley notched six hits on the weekend.
This Weekend's Starters . . .
Ball State will send junior right-hander Cal Bowling to the hill Thursday, senior left-hander Derek Grabner Friday and freshman left-hander Devin Wilburn Saturday afternoon ... Toledo will counter with right-hander Lincoln Rassi Thursday and right-hander Jared Locke Friday ... The Rockets have not named a starter for the 2011 regular season finale.
Bowling will be making his team-leading 14th start of the season Thursday ... He has a 4-5 record with a 3.46 ERA in a team-high 80.2 innings ... He has struck out 46 batters while walking 29 ... Last weekend, he picked up a no decision against Northern Illinois after working 6.1 innings and allowing nine runs, only five earned, on seven hits.
Grabner will be making his 15th appearance and 13th start of the season Friday ... He has a 1-5 record with a 5.60 ERA in 70.2 innings ... He has struck out 42 while walking 32 batters ... Last weekend, he worked 5.2 innings at NIU and allowed six runs on seven hits.
Wilburn will be making his 17th appearance and third start of the season Saturday ... He has a 1-2 record with a 6.82 ERA in 30.1 innings while also posting a save ... He made his first career MAC start last weekend and allowed seven runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Rassi will be making his team-leading 15th start of the season Thursday ... He has a 3-5 record with a 5.14 ERA in 68.1 innings of work ... He has struck out 52 while walking 23 ... Last weekend, he got a no decision against Eastern Michigan after allowing three runs on five hits in 5.2 innings.
Locke will be making his 11th appearance and ninth start of the season ... He has a 2-2 record with a 4.70 ERA in 44.0 innings ... He tossed 6.2 innings last weekend in a loss against EMU as he allowed four runs on seven hits.
Scouting The Cardinals . . .
Ball State enters the weekend with a 13-34 overall record and a 9-14 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Cardinals have dropped 11 of their last 13 games ... Ball State has scored 238 runs (5.06 runs/game) this season and is batting .261 as a team ... On the mound, the Cardinals own a 6.11 ERA and opponents are batting .301.
Junior center fiedler Cody Elliott paces the Cardinals offensively as he has a .323 batting average ... Elliott also leads the team in hits (61), runs (33), RBI (36), doubles (11), triples (5), stolen bases (14), slugging percentage (.481) and on-base percentage (.423) ... Junior Tim Issler also owns a .323 batting average in 22 starts as he has posted 31 hits on the year ... Junior Mitch Widau adds a .308 batting average and is second on the team with 48 hits ... Senior T.J. Baumet is tied for the team lead with five home runs and has posted 26 RBI on the year.
In the bullpen, right-hander Seth Hobbs has appeared in 14 games and has a 4.43 ERA in 20.1 innings ... Left-hander Justin Warrington leads the team with 18 appearances as a specialist ... Warrington has worked just 5.2 innings on the year ... Right-hander Michael Sandman has a 5.17 ERA in 15.2 innings and has posted one of the Cardinals' four saves.
Scouting The Rockets . . .
Toledo enters the weekend with a 25-25 overall record and a 14-10 Mid-American Conference mark ... The Rockets are still in the hunt for a share of the MAC West Division title but will need to sweep the Cardinals and receive help from Eastern Michigan ... Toledo has scored 235 runs (4.70 runs/game) and is batting .274 as a team ... On the mound, the Rockets boast a 3.92 team ERA and opponents are batting .278.
Ben Hammer leads the Rockets offensively as he owns a .351 batting average ... Hammer is second on the team with 25 RBI and leads the squad with a .441 on-base percentage ... Chris Dudics owns a .316 batting average and leads the Rockets in runs (31), hits (67) and stolen bases (13) ... Mark Lapikas leads Toledo with six home runs and 28 RBI.
In the bullpen, Ryan Wilkinson leads the team with 23 appearances as he has a 2.25 ERA in 36.0 innings ... Closer Matt Zahel owns a 1.71 ERA in 26.1 innings as he has posted a team-high 10 saves ... Alex Radon has appeared in 22 games and has a 2.56 ERA in 38.1 innings.
Top Rated Arms . . .
The Cardinals received some preseason honors from the CollegeBaseballInsider.com in its annual Mid-American Conference preview ... Senior shortstop T.J. Baumet was chosen by the league's head coaches to have the best infield arm in the MAC ... Also, junior outfielder Cody Elliott was tabbed with the best outfield arm in the MAC.