CONWAY, S.C. -- The Ball State baseball team lost 8-4 Saturday to 25th-ranked Michigan in the first game of the day at Coastal Carolina's Centex Homes Invitational. The Cardinals' second game -- a nightcap against Presbyterian College -- was rained out.
Ball State and Presbyterian played into the fourth inning Saturday night before rain and lightning set in. The game was called at 6:49 p.m. and will not be completed. Because the contest did not go five complete innings, it is not an official game and does not count.
The Cardinals and Blue Hose will meet Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in a regularly scheduled contest as both teams wrap up the weekend. Ball State will then travel home to Muncie, where the Cardinals are scheduled to play Anderson at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
In Saturday's first game, Ball State (7-8) scored first, but Michigan (7-5) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning and never gave it up. The Wolverines handed the Cardinals an 8-4 loss.
The Cardinals belted three home runs in their first game Saturday, but all three were of the solo variety.
The first home run of the day came in the top of the first inning. Ball State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a solo homer off the bat of center fielder Wayne Bond Jr. The home run was the fourth of the season for Bond, who leads the team.
Michigan responded with two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. The Wolverines picked up a pair of two-out singles from designated hitter Zach Putnam and third baseman Adam Abraham to bring second baseman Kevin Cislo around to score. The Wolverines then loaded the bases, and shortstop Leif Mahler drew a walk to plate a second run.
Michigan extended its lead with two more runs in the second inning. The runs were both unearned and came on a two-out, two-run homer from catcher Nate Recknagel.
Ball State got one run back in the fourth inning on the Cardinals' second solo home run of the game. Left fielder Justin Rogers' third homer of the year cut the Michigan lead to 4-2.
Michigan, though, further extended its lead in the bottom of the fourth with two more runs. A Ball State error and a walk put runners on first and second base before a Recknagel double brought both around to score, pushing the Wolverine lead to 6-2.
Ball State again cut into the lead in the top of the eighth inning. The Cardinals scored one run on a Bond RBI single to draw within 6-3. Ball State threatened for more with runners on first and second base, but Michigan relief pitcher Tyler Burgoon induced three straight outs to end the inning.
The Wolverines tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Ball State picked up one more in the ninth on a solo home run from catcher Zach Dygert.
Chris Fetter earned the win for Michigan, allowing three runs over seven innings while striking out seven. Burgoon earned the save.
Tyler Pritchard took the loss for Ball State. He allowed six runs -- but only three earned runs -- in six innings while striking out four.
Bond and Dygert led the Cardinals with two hits each, while Michigan's Recknagel led all players in the game with three hits and four RBI.