MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Ball State baseball team suffered a 15-4 loss to Mid-American Conference foe Central Michigan Saturday afternoon at Theunissen Stadium. The loss drops the Cardinals to 11-35 on the year while the Chippewas improve to 27-25 with their ninth straight victory.
Ball State (6-17 MAC) opened the scoring quickly as it plated a run in the top of the first inning against CMU starter Patrick Kaminska. Junior center fielder Wes Winkle (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) led off the game with a single to left field and was quickly sacrificed into scoring position. Billy Wellman (Portland, Ind./Jay County) continued his hot streak as he lined a run-scoring double down the left field line to give the Cardinals the early 1-0 lead.
Central Michigan (14-9 MAC) answered right back in the bottom of the first inning with two runs against junior right-hander Chris Marangon (Maple Valley, Wash./Edmunds CC). The Chippewas strung together four hits in the inning, including run-scoring knocks by Nate Theunissen and Jordan Adams to give CMU the lead for good.
The Chippewas ran their lead to 7-1 with two runs in the third and single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Ball State made a push in the top of the eighth inning scoring three runs and bringing the go ahead run to the plate.
Freshman Elbert Devarie (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway) led off the inning with a single and moved to second as Winkle singled into left field. After a single by Mitch Widau (Richmond, Ind./Richmond) loaded the bases, Brandon Estep (Selma, Ind./Wapahani) singled through the left side scoring Devarie.
Wellman made it a 7-4 game as he lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that scored two runs after a CMU throwing error on the play. The Cardinals brought the potential go ahead run to the plate after a pair of walks but Cody Campbell (Muncie, Ind./Cowan) flew out to deep right field to end the threat.
Central Michigan broke the game open in the bottom half of the eighth as it sent 13 batters to the plate while scoring eight runs on six hits against four Cardinals' pitchers. The Chippewas big hit of the inning was a three-run home run by Tyler Hall.
Marangon (1-7) picked up the loss as he allowed four runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work as he needed 92 pitches. Kaminska (5-2) notched the victory as he allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings of work.
Ball State and Central Michigan will conclude its three-game series Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.