The fourth-seeded Ball State baseball team advanced in the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the first time since 2006 with a 13-7 win over No. 5 Miami University Wednesday morning at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
Scott Baker, the 2013 MAC Pitcher of the Year, improved to 12-1 on the season with the mound win for Ball State. Baker gave up four runs off of nine hits while striking out four batters. With the win Baker now holds the Ball State all-time pitching record for most victories in a season.
Offensively, the Cardinals had 17 total hits. Cody Campbell was 3-for-5 from the plate with a triple and a home run. Campbell also had three runs-batted-in and scored two runs. Blake Beemer also went 3-for-5, including a double, two RBI and three runs. T.J. Weir went 3-for-4 with a home run and Sam Tidaback was a perfect 3-for-3, while hitting a triple and a homerun.
The Red Hawks crossed the plate early in the first inning after Jake Romano tripled to right center with only one out on the board. John Crummy then singled to centerfield, scoring Romano. Baker then struck out Kevin Bower and Alex Johnson flew out to Sean Godfrey for the last out of the inning.
Down 2-0 in the second inning, Campbell started the bottom of the second off with a triple to leftfield. Beemer brought home Campbell after he singled. With two outs and runners on first and second, MU's Brooks Fiala struck out Elbert DeVarie to get out of the inning.
Miami took a 4-2 lead in the third, but Ball State answered in the bottom of the third cutting the Red Hawks lead to 4-3. Wes Winkle reached base after he was hit by a pitch. Ryan Spaulding singled to center advancing Winkle to third. Godfrey singled to the right side to bring home Winkle. Beemer then singled to bring home Spaulding.
It was a big fourth inning for the Cardinals after scoring four runs off of five hits, which included singles from Weir, Spaulding and Campbell. Tidaback tripled for the first time this season and Winkled doubled for the eighth time to help give Ball State the 7-4 advantage over Miami.
Ball State's bats stayed hot in the fifth inning. Weir singled and Tidaback hit a two run homer to left field to put the Cardinals up 9-4. The home run marked Tidaback's third of the season.
The Cardinals tacked on four more runs in the sixth after Campbell hit his fourth HR of the season and Beemer hit the centerfield wall marking his 16th double of year. With two outs, Weir collected his seventh homerun of the year.
Miami scored three in the top of the ninth, but that was all it could score and the Cardinals advanced with the 13-7 win.
The Ball State baseball team advances in the winners bracket of the MAC Tournament. Ball State will face the winner of Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game vs. top-seeded Kent State and No. 8 seed Central Michigan at 4 p.m. Thursday.