LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- The Ball State baseball team earned a split of Saturday's doubleheader at New Mexico State. The Cardinals took a 12-6 win in the second game after falling 24-19 in the first game.
With the split, Ball State is now 3-4 on the season, while New Mexico State moves to 4-2.
The final game of the four-game series is slated for 1 p.m. MST (3 p.m. Muncie time).
Game 2 Recap
Ball State started slow but finished strong in a 12-6 victory in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Left fielder Justin Rogers went 4-for-5 at the plate and led Ball State offensively with three RBI and three runs scored. Designated hitter Kolbrin Vitek collected three hits and added two RBI.
Ball State trailed 6-1 through three innings before the Cardinals mounted a rally to take the lead.
Ball State scored four runs in the fourth inning. Center fielder Wayne Bond Jr. brought the first run home with a sacrifice fly. Rogers followed with a two-run double, and first baseman Matt Stoeklen later singled home a run to cut the New Mexico State lead to 6-5.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Ball State scored three runs in the sixth inning to take the lead. The Cardinals picked up runs on RBI singles from Vitek and third baseman Joe Mack. Ball State also plated a run on a New Mexico State wild pitch as it took an 8-6 advantage.
The Cardinals later added three more runs in the seventh inning and tacked on one in the eighth.
Ball State starter Brad Piatt earned the win on the mound, while New Mexico State's Sebastian Vendette took the loss.
Piatt allowed six runs -- four earned -- in 5.2 innings of work. After allowing all six runs in the first three innings, Piatt combined with left-hander Eric Van Matre and right-hander Kyle Heyne to hold New Mexico State scoreless over the final six innings. Van Matre allowed two hits in two innings of relief, while Heyne pitched a perfect 1.1 innings and struck out the side in the ninth.
Game 1 Recap
New Mexico State out-slugged Ball State 24-19 in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Right fielder Kory Benbow and second baseman Jeremy Hazelbaker led the Cardinals offensively with three hits and four RBI each. Vitek also logged three hits to go along with two RBI and four runs scored.
Bond was the fourth Cardinal to tally three hits as Ball State pounded out a season-high 23 hits as a team.
New Mexico State took control of the game with 11 runs in the sixth inning. The Aggies sent 14 batters to the plate and recorded five hits in the inning. They were also aided by four walks and three Ball State errors as they turned a 17-8 deficit into a 19-17 lead.
Ball State managed to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning on a pinch-hit, two-RBI double from Mack. It marked the second consecutive day Mack had come off the bench in the late innings to tie the game with an extra-base hit.
But after Ball State tied the game at 19-19, the Aggies put up five more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and held on for the win.
Five players recorded two hits for New Mexico State, and shortstop Richard Stout led the Aggies with four RBI.
Ball State built an early 11-0 lead with six runs in the first inning and five more in the second. The Cardinals scored six runs over the next three innings, while New Mexico State scored eight runs during that stretch, giving Ball State a nine-run advantage before the Aggies' big sixth inning.
Benbow and Vitek each homered in the game for the Cardinals, and eight Ball State position starters recorded at least two hits.