MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State baseball team closed out the 2011 season Saturday afternoon with an 11-6 Mid-American Conference victory over visiting Toledo at Ball Diamond. The victory secured the series victory over the Rockets for the Cardinals who finish the season with an 11-15 MAC record.
Prior to the game, Ball State honored its three-member senior class as it recognized T.J. Baumet (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), Derek Grabner (Fort Wayne, Ind./Lincoln Trail) and Scott Brothers Jr. (Monticello, Ind./Gulf Coast CC) with senior day festivities.
Brothers (1-2) got the start for the Cardinals and worked 2.0 shutout innings to pick up his first win of the season as he limited Toledo to just one hit.
Ball State jumped all over Toledo right-hander Cameron Palmer in the bottom of the first inning. Palmer struggled to find the strike zone as he hit two batters, issued a walk and tallied a fielding error that allowed the Cardinals' first run of the game to score. Ball State broke the game open as freshman Sean Godfrey (New Albany, Ind./New Albany) crushed a grand slam over the scoreboard in left center field to end Palmer's afternoon and give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead after just one hit.
The Cardinals continued to add to the lead as Cody Campbell (Muncie, Ind./Cowan) was the third Cardinal to be hit by a pitch. Sophomore Kevin Franchetti (Highland, Ind./Andrean) followed with a single into center field against UT left-handed reliever Ryan Wilkinson. Sophomore Kirby Campbell (Muncie, Ind./Cowan), junior Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) and junior Tim Issler (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) posted three straight RBI-singles to give the Cardinals an 8-0 lead.
Toledo answered back in the top of the third inning against freshman left-handed reliever Devin Wilburn (Selma, Ind./Wapahani). The Rockets led off the inning with three straight singles to score their first run of the afternoon. Toledo narrowed the BSU lead to 8-3 as it score two more runs taking advantage of a Ball State fielding error.
After Toledo narrowed the gap to 8-4, the Cardinals added three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Baumet led off the inning as he crushed the first pitch he saw from Adam Tyson high over the left field wall for his team-leading sixth of the season and his 33rd career home run to make it a 9-4 contest.
The Cardinals continued the inning as Godfrey followed with a single and Cody Campbell doubled down the left field line to move two into scoring position. Sophomore Wes Winkle (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) drove in the Cardinals' 10th run as he lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. Redshirt sophomore Dominic Catanzarite (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) gave the Cardinals an 11-4 lead with an RBI-double down the left field line.
Palmer (1-2) was charged with the loss as he allowed six runs on just one hit in only a third of an inning for the Rockets.
The Cardinals finish the 2011 season with a 15-35 overall record and an 11-15 mark in MAC play.