CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Sunday, for the second straight day, the Ball State baseball team got a solid effort from its starting pitcher, helping the Cardinals to back-to-back wins for the first time this season. This time it was Ryan DeGeeter who took the mound and shut down the Austin Peay bats.
DeGeeter went seven strong innings for the Cardinals before giving way to closer Kyle Heyne, who picked up his second save of the season in a 4-2 Ball State victory.
DeGeeter faced the minimum through the first three innings. The senior right-hander allowed only one hit during that stretch - an infield single - but he quickly erased that baserunner by inducing the next batter to ground into an inning-ending double play.
DeGeeter allowed just one hit in the fourth inning, as well, but two Ball State errors opened the door for Austin Peay to break through and score its first run - an unearned run - on an RBI single by Matt Smith.
Austin Peay managed one baserunner in the fifth inning, but Ball State catcher Alex Schmid threw him out stealing. That was the last baserunner the Governors would have against DeGeeter, who sent the them down in order in the sixth and seventh innings. Austin Peay pushed across one run in the ninth inning, but Ball State held on for the win.
On the offensive side of things, the Cardinals jumped on the scoreboard first with a two-run second inning. Joe Mack got things started with a one-out walk and moved around to third base on an Alex Schmid single through the right side. Tyler Rogers then laid down a perfectly executed squeeze bunt to bring Mack home. Ball State quickly added its second run of the inning on a Wayne Bond RBI single up the middle that scored Schmid from second.
Bond, Tyler Rogers and Schmid each picked up two hits on the day for Ball State, and Bond led the Cardinals with three RBI. He picked up his second and third RBI of the game in the seventh inning.
With a 2-1 advantage in the seventh, it was Tyler Rogers who started things with a one-out walk. He moved to third when Jeremy Hazelbaker executed a hit-and-run through the right side. Bond then brought both runners around to score on a double, turning on a pitch and lacing it down the left field line.
With the win, Ball State improves to 3-7, and Austin Peay falls to 3-4. DeGeeter picked up his first win of the season on the mound, striking out seven batters in the process.
The Cardinals return to action next weekend at the Myrtle Beach Hyundai-Isuzu Classic, hosted by Coastal Carolina.