Ball State’s Zach Plesac improved to 8-3 on the season after pitching the baseball team to a 5-3 win and a series sweep over Central Michigan Sunday.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 30-14 overall and 14-3 in the Mid-American Conference, while Central Michigan fell to 26-18 overall and 12-6 in the MAC. Ball State leads the MAC West Division by two and a half games over the Chippewas.
"Earning a sweep on the road against a top team like CMU is special," Ball State head coach Rich Maloney said. "It took a total team effort with a lot of different players making significant contributions."
After falling behind 3-0 through five innings, Ball State rallied for four runs in the sixth frame to take a 4-3 lead. With bases loaded and no outs, Kyle Raleigh singled up the middle to score Sean Kennedy and Sean Godfrey and pull the Cardinals within one run. Jarret Rindfleisch singled through the left side of the infield as a pinch hitter to score Jarret James and tie the game at 3-3. Sam Tidaback laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Raleigh and Ball State led 4-3.
The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth when Tidaback’s second sacrifice bunt of the game scored Alex Maloney and gave Ball State the 5-3 edge.
Chris Lovejoy started on the mound for the Cardinals and pitched 4.1 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three before Plesac came on in relief. Plesac went 4.2 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out three to earn his eighth win of the year.
Godfrey and Kennedy were each 2-for-4 on the day, while Raleigh was 1-for-4 with two runs-batted-in on one run scored. Tidaback’s two sacrifices plated two Ball State runs and Rindfleisch was 1-for-1 with one RBI.
Ball State’s sweep of CMU marked the Cardinals’ 10th straight series win over a MAC opponent. The Cardinals will remain idle until a three-game league showdown with Akron Friday through Sunday in Akron, Ohio.