On a sunny, but cold day in Clarksville, Tenn., Ball State tallied a 10-4 win over the Austin Peay Governors in the final game of the Austin Peay Baseball Invitational.
With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in the tournament. Ball State led off the tournament with a 5-4 win over Indiana on Friday, but Saturday's games were cancelled due to poor weather and field conditions. The Cardinals went 2-0, Indiana and APSU were 1-1 and Cleveland State suffered an 0-2 mark in the event.
Sophomore Kolbrin Vitek, who is on the Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Award Watch List, took the mound and held Austin Peay to no hits in the first four innings. He gave up a line drive single to lead off the fifth, but finished with five innings pitched, giving up just one hit, striking out five and walking none.
Ball State started the days scoring in the top of the third when junior Ryan Chenoweth started the inning with a single up the middle. Freshman Tim Issler sacrificed Chenoweth to second and then junior Jeremy Hazelbaker tallied his first triple of the season to score Chenoweth and give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Senior Nate Fields followed with a line drive single to right field to score Hazelbaker and stretch Ball State's early lead to 2-0 in the third.
The Cardinals came back in the fourth and led off with singles by Ian Nielsen, T.J. Baumet and Chenoweth. Issler came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs, and his RBI single to right scored Nielsen. Hazelbaker continued his hot stretch and doubled to right, scoring Baumet and Chenoweth and giving the Cardinals a 5-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Vitek's fielders choice followed by a Zach Dygert single added two more runs for Ball State and gave the Cardinals a 7-0 lead after four and a half innings.
Ball State's bullpen allowed the Governors four runs in the last four innings, but held on to help the Cardinals to the victory, while the Cardinals offense supplied some ninth inning insurance with three runs. With two outs in the ninth, Nielsen doubled and Baumet singled, while Chenoweth followed with an RBI single. Hazelbaker added a two RBI single to finish off the Ball State scoring.
After hitting a ninth inning home run to beat Indiana Friday, Hazelbaker managed a single, double and triple in the first four innings against Austin Peay. He ended Sunday with four hits in six at-bats while adding five RBI and two runs scored.