What's On Tap . . .
Ball State continues its regular-season ending seven-game road swing this weekend as it returns to Mid-American Conference play for a three-game series against Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant ... The Cardinals and Chippewas will play Friday at 3:05 p.m., Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Theunissen Stadium ... The Cardinals are battling for one of the eight spot in the 2012 MAC Tournament while the Chippewas are still fighting for the top spot in the MAC West Division.
Live stats will be available at www.ballstatesports.com courtesy of Central Michigan ... Video and audio will be available at www.cmuchippewas.com.
Probable Starting Pitchers . . .
Ball State will send right-hander T.J. Weir to the hill Friday and junior Chris Marangon Saturday afternoon ... The Cardinals have not named a starter for Sunday's game ... Central Michigan will counter with right-hander Zach Cooper Friday and right-hander Patrick Kaminska Saturday ... The Chippewas have also not named a starter.
Weir will be making his team-leading 12th start of the season and 13th appearance ... He has a 2-8 overall record with a 5.95 ERA in a team-high 62.0 innings of work ... He has struck out 50 while walking just 20 on the year ... Last weekend, he picked up the loss to Western Michigan as he lasted 2.2 innings and allowed four runs on six hits ... He was on the mound before the Cardinals had a rain delay and could not come back out after the 90-minute delay.
Marangon will be making his eighth start and 18 appearance of the season ... He has a 1-6 record on the year with two saves but owns a 3.64 ERA in 59.1 innings of work ... He has struck out 27 batters while walking 25 and opponents are only batting .205 against ... He was charged with the hard-luck loss last weekend to WMU as he went 7.1 innings and allowed three unearned runs on just six hits.
Cooper will be making his 13th start of the season for the Chippewas ... He has a 5-4 record with a 3.02 ERA in a league-high 83.1 innings of work ... He has tossed two complete games and two shutouts this season while striking out 85 and walking 39 ... Last weekend, he went 8.0 innings at Northern Illinois allowing just two runs on 10 hits while striking out five.
Kaminska will be making his 15th appearance and sixth start of the season ... He has a 4-2 record with a team-low 2.81 ERA in 51.1 innings of work ... He has struck out 33 while walking just 11 batters ... Last weekend, he went 7.2 innings at NIU and allowed just one run on eight hits to pick up the victory.
Series History . . .
Ball State and Central Michigan have met 132 times prior to this weekend's three-game series ... The Cardinals trail the all-time series by an 83-49 margin ... Last season, Central Michigan took two out of three from the Cardinals in Muncie ... The Chippewas swept a Saturday doubleheader with a 12-3 and 7-6 victories before the Cardinals answered back with an 8-1 victory Sunday afternoon.
In 2010, the Cardinals won a pivotal series over CMU in Mount Pleasant ... The Chippewas opened the series with a 4-3 victory before the Cardinals swept a doubleheader Saturday by 3-2 and 5-2 scores.
Coaching Comparison . . .
Ball State head coach Alex Marconi enters his second season at the helm ... Marconi posted a 15-35 record last year after working for five years as an assistant coach for BSU under former head coach Greg Beals (Ohio State).
Central Michigan is led by 10th-year head coach Steve Jaska who entered the year with a 294-220-1 record at CMU.
Scouting The Cardinals . . .
Ball State enters the weekend with an 11-33 overall record and a 6-12 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... The Cardinals have dropped seven straight games, including series sweeps to Toledo and Western Michigan ... Ball State has scored 170 runs (3.86 runs/game) and is batting .241 as a team ... Opponents have scored 316 runs (7.18 runs/game) and are batting .300 as a team.
Sophomore Sean Godfrey leads the team with a .286 batting average but has missed the last two weekends due to an injury ... Junior Wes Winkle is second on the team with a .275 batting average ... Winkle leads the team with 44 hits and 21 runs scored ... Redshirt sophomore Billy Wellman owns a .316 batting average in 22 games this season and is second on the team with 19 RBI while leading the team with four home runs.
In the bullpen, left-hander Devin Wilburn leads the team with 18 appearances ... Wilburn has a 5.87 ERA in 23.0 innings and is one of four Cardinals with a save this season ... Fellow southpaw Jon Cisna has appeared in 16 games and has a 7.36 ERA in 18.1 innings ... Matt Johnsen has appeared in eight games and has a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings while striking out 13.
Scouting The Chippewas . . .
Central Michigan enters the weekend with a 25-25 overall record and a 12-9 mark in Mid-American Conference play ... CMU has won seven straight games, including a series sweep at Northern Illinois last weekend ... The Chippewas have scored 307 runs (6.14 runs/game) and are batting .276 as a team ... Opponents have scored 298 (5.96 runs/game) and are batting .266 as a team.
Jordan Dean leads the Chippewas with a .362 batting average ... Dean has tallied a team-high 80 hits, 52 runs scored, 40 RBI and six home runs ... William Arnold is second on the team with a .337 batting average and has posted 57 hits while driving in 37 runs ... Nate Theunissen has driven in 39 runs while owning a .286 batting average.
In the bullpen, Jon Weaver has appeared in a team-high 20 games and has four saves ... Weaver owns a 2.87 ERA in 37.2 innings of work ... Dietrich Enns has a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 innings while placing second on the team with two saves ... Ryan Longstreth is second on the team with 18 appearances and owns a 3.97 ERA in 47.2 innings of work.
Looking Ahead . . .
Ball State closes out the 2012 regular season next Thursday-Saturday will a three-game series in DeKalb, Ill., against the Northern Illinois Huskies.