CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Designated hitter Justin Rogers and third baseman Tyler Rogers pounded out three hits each for the Ball State baseball team Friday, but the Cardinals fell 4-3 in the opener of a three-game series with Austin Peay.
Ball State (1-7) and Austin Peay (3-2) are scheduled to play game two of the weekend series Saturday at Noon CT (1 p.m. Muncie time).
After falling behind 4-1, the Cardinals gave themselves a chance with a two-run eighth inning. Matt Gard started the rally with a leadoff double and then moved to third base on Justin Rogers' third hit of the day, a single to right field. A sacrifice fly from Matt Stoeklen brought Gard home to cut Austin Peay's lead to 4-2.
Later in the inning, after Justin Rogers had moved to third base, Ryan Chenoweth brought him home with an RBI single to bring the Cardinals within one run.
Still down by one run in the top of the ninth inning, Ball State put the tying run at first base but was not able to bring him around.
Brenden Stines got the start for Ball State and threw five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out four. Richie Fralick threw the sixth inning in relief, and Adam Quinn came on the throw the final two innings for Ball State, allowing one hit and striking out two.
Austin Peay did its damage in the first six innings. The Governors scored in the first after a leadoff double from Tyler Farrar and an RBI single from Ryne Mantooth. Austin Peay tacked on more more in the fourth inning on a Josh Kempf leadoff home run and added two more runs in the sixth inning.
Matt Reynolds started on the mound for the Governors and earned the win, allowing one run on eight hits and striking out eight in seven innings of work. Ben Wilshire worked the final 1.2 innings to pick up the save.
Ball State pounded out a season-high 11 hits to Austin Peay's nine but left nine men on base to the Governors' seven.